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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Last Good Time
Directed by Bob Balaban
Hallmark Home Entertainment 04/95 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - language, some sexuality

The Last Good Time features Armin Mueller-Stahl in a tour de force performance as Joseph Kopple, a retired violinist who lives alone in a small apartment. The tranquil routine of his lonely existence is shattered when he takes in Charlotte (Olivia d'Abo), a penniless young woman who has been abandoned by her abusive boyfriend.

They begin an awkward cross-generational friendship. Joseph's new adventures provide him with plenty of conversation for his visits to Howard (Lionel Stander), a friend in a nursing home. Meanwhile, Ida (Maureen Stapleton), a neighbor, can't understand why Joseph rebuffs her efforts to get to know him better.

Director Bob Balaban has done a remarkable job in adapting Richard Bausch's novel for the screen. This tender and touching drama beautifully conveys the nostalgia, isolation, and surprising magic moments of old age. The Last Good Time is a a life-affirming film that goes straight to the heart.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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