STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING
Understated, Intense Character Study
Release Date: November 23, 2007
Starring: Frank Langella, Lauren
Ambrose, Lili Taylor, and
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate
Director: Andrew Wagner
Executive Producer: John Sloss, Gregory Moyer,
Douglas Harmon, and Allan
Producer: Nancy Israel, Fred Parnes,
Gary Winick, and Jake Abraham
Writer: Andrew Wagner and Fred Parnes
Address Comments To:Jon Feltheimer, CEO
Lionsgate AKA Lions Gate Films (Roadside Attractions)
2700 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 449-9200, Fax: (310) 255-3870
In the story, Langella plays Leonard Schiller, an aging writer who’s been working on his next novel for 10 frustrating years. Prancing into his life comes eager graduate student Heather Wolfe, who wants to interview Leonard for her dissertation on his novels. Leonard at first refuses, but he relents and begins to open up to Heather. This leads to a brief affair, which emboldens Heather to question why Leonard’s later novels, published after his wife’s death, are not as personal as his earlier ones. Meanwhile, Leonard’s 40-year-old daughter has problems with her ex-boyfriend, who still doesn’t want to have children.
You won’t find splashy performances in this movie like that of Daniel Day-Lewis in THERE WILL BE BLOOD, but they are almost as good in their more quiet way. Even so, this is not a really dramatic movie with lots of edge-of-your-seat melodrama. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING also has a pagan worldview with brief foul language and some sexual content, including brief partial nudity. The sex and nudity are not extremely graphic, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
Rated PG-13, STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING is a literate drama about human passions and regret that plays like an excellent stage production. This is not a splashy movie, with splashy performances, but a quiet slice-of-life drama. Within that limitation, it succeeds, helped along by a talented cast led by Frank Langella. The movie also has a humanist worldview with brief foul language, some sexual content and brief partial nudity. The sex and nudity are not extremely graphic, but movieguide.org advises extreme caution.