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Jacob Long
Jacob Long

Last Love (Mr. Morgan's Last Love)


On the heels of Halloween comes "Last Love," the zombie of elderly grief movies. For 116 long, long minutes, we watch retired philosophy professor Matthew Morgan (Michael Caine) puttering about Paris after the death of his beloved wife Joan (Jane Alexander). He shambles around his large apartment, flirts with the idea of stamp collecting, teaches a bit of French, and takes up with a comely young French girl named Pauline (Clemence Poesy). It turns out that Pauline is a dance teacher who specializes in the cha-cha, but if you think that this means she will be leading Matthew out of his shell, think again. Director Sandra Nettelbeck films Pauline's cha-cha class like it's some kind of purgatory where older people are forced against their will to do steps in time to music.




Last Love (Mr. Morgan's Last Love)



For a film that is supposedly about life going on after the death of someone you love, "Last Love" has an uncannily undead sort of feeling, and that is partly due to Caine, who still has some of his movie star charisma but holds himself entirely back and aloof from his character. Matthew has several centerpiece monologues about his feelings on love, life and his late wife, and most actors of any age would tear right into them, but Caine recites them in a laid back fashion that steps right up to the line of seeming frankly disinterested but never quite crosses it.


Matthew Morgan: Well, you don't love life itself. You love, uh, places, animals, people, memories, food, literature, music. And sometimes you meet someone... who requires all the love you have to give. And if you lose that someone, you think everything else is gonna stop too. But everything else just keeps on going. Giraudoux said, you can miss a single being, even though you are surrounded by countless others. Those people are like... like extras. They cloud your vision, they're a meaningless crowd. They... They're an unwelcome distraction. So you seek oblivion in solitude. But solitude only makes you wither.


The movie has a stilted, airless feel, as if Mr. Morgan had already succeeded at offing himself and we were now drifting alongside him through some odd limbo. The actors deliver their lines in a slow hush amid a conspicuous lack of ambient sound, even in crowded public spaces. But Paris looks indisputably lovely through the lens of cameraman Michael Bertl.


Mr Morgan doesn't speak a word of French but still lives in Paris because it reminds him of his beloved late wife (Jane Alexander), who appears, ghost-like, from time to time. He's grief-stricken and a bit of a curmudgeon, at least until he meets beautiful young cha- cha teacher Pauline (Clémence Poésy). Soon, he is hoofing away with all the other pensioners at her dance school.


Her positive take on life and their mutual need for companionship sees them embark on sweet-natured relationship as they wander Paris and enjoy lunches in the park. It is a relationship that teeters on romance (and certainly there is a sense that he falls in love with her) but is closer to the notion of a supportive family than an affair of any kind.


Well into the sixth decade of his career, Michael Caine can still surprise. Here he sports an American accent and (for part of the film) a woolly beard to play a Waspish, intellectual widower living in Paris, where he seems to have become stranded, without being able to speak the lingo, after the death of his beloved wife.


"Sometimes you meet someone who requires all the love you have to give." Aw this looks like such a sweet charmer. Image Entertainment has debuted a trailer for a film titled Mr. Morgan's Last Love, adapted from a French book about an American widower played by Michael Caine living in Paris who meets a beautiful French woman, played by Clémence Poésy, who "brightens his life." You could almost think of this as the lost years of Alfred while he was waiting in Paris for Bruce to show up at the end of TDKR, but ah what am I saying. It's just a heartwarming film about an elderly man who needed happiness in his life again.


"You don't love life itself. You love, uhm, places, animals, people, memories, food, literature, music. And sometimes you meet someone, who requires all the love you have to give. And if you lose that someone, you think everything else is gonna stop, too. But everything else just keeps on going. Giraudoux said, you can miss a single being, even though you are surrounded by countless others. Those people are like... like extras. They cloud your vision, they're a meaningless crowd. They're an unwelcome distraction. So you seek oblivion in solitude. But solitude only makes you wither."Quote PermalinkMatthew Morgan Michael Caine


Matthew: "All I ever wanted for you was to go out in the world and chase your dreams. Find adventure, fall in love, take risks. That's all I wanted for you."Miles: "Why didn't you ever tell me that?"Matthew: "Because I didn't think I had to."Quote PermalinkMatthew Morgan Michael CaineMiles Morgan Justin Kirk 041b061a72


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