Starting Out in the Evening
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Leonard Schiller (in an extraordinarily understated performance by Frank Langella) is an aging author, a man whose first two novels seem to set the literary world on fire, but whose next two novels languished on the shelves and slipped into the same plane of obscurity Schiller finds his life since the death of his wife. He has a daughter Ariel (Lili Taylor in another richly hued performance) who is nearing age forty and is unable to bond permanently with a man because of her obsession with having children before her biological clock ticks past fertility. Into their lives comes Heather Wolfe (Lauren Ambrose), a bright young graduate student who has elected to write her master's thesis on the works of Leonard Schiller. Schiller is absorbed in writing what may be his last novel and can't be bothered with Heather's plea for a series of interviews. But curiosity intervenes and soon Heather and Leonard are involved in the process of interviewing, a process which gradually builds into overtones of Heather's physical as well as intellectual attraction to Leonard.Read more ›
A young woman sits in a small diner, waiting to meet the subject of her thesis. Heather Wolfe and Leonard Schiller sit together. Leonard almost immediately thanks her for her admiration of his work as a writer, but quickly dismisses her interest because he can't be bothered while he works on another book in his old age. The beautiful interviewer reluctantly agrees to his wishes, but only after being allowed to see his home, and borrow a few copies of his out-of-print books. Just before leaving his home, Heather suddenly kisses Leonard. It is not sexual, but a rather strange gesture of admiration. While the two are meeting this way, Leonard's hurried daughter Ariel is qickly dropping in and out of Leonard's apartment.
Once Heather and Ariel leave together, we are unsettled and riddled with questions. "Did that just happen?" Or better yet, "How exactly did that happen?" You will want to explore these questions for perhaps the same reason that Heather & Leonard continue the interview process together. They are fascinated by each other's point-of-view in writing; we are stunned by the subdued performances of Lauren Ambrose and Frank Langella, two of the best of their respective generations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
one of the best movies that i have every scene. it is more of a character study, so it may seems slow to some. but i love the depth and how meaningful it is.Published 4 months ago by hjs
It had me wondering all the way to the end where the two relationships would arrive, and both were consistent with what preceded and yet both were surprises. True to life. Nice.Published 7 months ago by Rev. Richard Chrisman, Ph.D.
This is a very small, stripped down, and subtle story which will immediately endear itself to certain viewers and lose others. Read morePublished 9 months ago by mr. contrarian
Excellent work. Worth seeing. Frank Langella is wonderful.Published 10 months ago by Howard Adamsky
The ending was a disappointment but the relationship of the eldely fading author and his young attractive muse was fascunating and compelling.Published 10 months ago by Stanley K. Taub Productions
Slowly paced to match the twilight of the professors aging years, the role of the graduate student is annoyingly one of using an older man for personal ambition. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Marilyn
Brian Morton is great novelist; this was someone's bland and stiff Graduate school film homage to a book that may have lacked enough widespread demographic appeal to be given the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. Gordon