The bride-to-be is jittery, and turns to her maid of honor rather than her own mother for support. According to The Hollywood Reporter (9/14/06): "director Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation (2003)) had been in preliminary discussions to direct, and Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn was discussed for the lead role, but those deals never developed." See more » Since starting to read the book this movie is based on, I'm having mixed feelings about the filmed result.
I learned some time ago to see the movie adaptation of a book before I read the book, because I found that if I read the book first I was inevitably disappointed in the film.
Much as I respect him for The Hours (which I have not read but which I saw and was awed by) I cannot escape the feeling that he not so much adapted Susan Minton's book as he did take a few of the characters and the basic premise and write his own movie out of it. I actually love the movie, which is why, since I started reading the novel, I'm feeling disturbed about the whole thing. Minton for enjoying the movie which was so thooughly a departure from her work.
Even though a lot of the book is memory of real events, it is memory, and so fragmented and ethereal as to be, I feel, not filmable. Minton's work is a real work of literature, but cannot make the transition to film, which in no way detracts from its value.Overcome by the power of memory, Ann Lord (Vanessa Redgrave) reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters; Constance (Natasha Richardson), a content wife and mother, and Nina (Toni Collette), a restless single woman. That question lies at the center of Lajos Koltai's Evening, a plodding, multigenerational drama that looks back at the life of Ann Grant Lord (Vanessa Redgrave)."As this cursory opposition between the sisters suggests, the film is structured by shortcuts.Newport is littered with stereotypical '50s socialites, one of the most egregious being Lila's mother (Glenn Close), prissy, judgmental, and lily-white in every way.But they also let Ann off the hook for missing that opportunity, and justify Lila's own choice to carry on with her marriage, which she admits made her "happy sometimes." So as the film moves towards its inevitable conclusion, its not so much the characters' choices, but rather the spirit in which they make those choices that cause Evening to be such a failure. For a film so focused on remorse and desire, its distressing to see protagonists feel neither as they happily abandon their aspirations, settle for what's expected of them, and buy into Lila's deflating theory that the secret to fulfillment is to give up on yourself.The love which binds mother and daughter -- seen through the prism of one mother's life as it crests with optimism, navigates a turning point, and ebbs to its close.Overcome by the power of memory, Ann Lord reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters; Constance, a content wife and mother, and Nina, a restless single woman.Both are bedside when Ann calls out for the man she loved more than any other.As Ann now lies dying, she struggles to sort out what happened with Harris, whom she calls her "first mistake." Her daughters, Nina (Toni Collette) and Connie (Natasha Richardson), have no idea what she's talking about.While they worry she's turning delirious, they berate each other's life choices and debate what it means to be a "fulfilled woman." Connie is contentedly married with children, Nina's the acerbic hip-chick who puts off her boyfriend Luc (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) with quips like "Can't we discuss this sometime when my mother isn't dying?