The Last Word

2017

Comedy / Drama

38
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 34%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 2263

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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May 28, 2017 at 01:06 AM

Cast

Alanna Ubach as Gynecologist
Anne Heche as Elizabeth
Shirley MacLaine as Harriet
720p 1080p
782.53 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 27 / 341
1.63 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 31 / 181

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dave McClain ([email protected]) 8 / 10

This great mix of well-established talent with others just starting out makes for one enjoyable film.

Actress Shirley MacLaine has had quite a career – and an interesting life. She was ahead of her time in being a very independent-minded career woman… and developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. She had a decades-long marriage which ended in divorce, but produced one child, a daughter. In her later years, she has remained active in trying to shape her legacy, which is clearly seen in her 2017 comedy-drama "The Last Word" (R, 1:48). Advertising executive Harriet Lauler has had quite a career – and an interesting life. She was ahead of her time in being a very independent-minded career woman… and developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. She had a decades-long marriage which ended in divorce, but produced one child, a daughter. In her later years, she has become active in trying to shape her legacy, which is what the 2017 comedy-drama "The Last Word" is all about. Now, art-imitating-life parallels aside, playing Harriet serves to remind us how busy MacLaine has remained, on screens big and small, even as her 70s drifted into her 80s – and what a singular talent she remains.

"Control is very important to Harriet," one character observes. That's an understatement – and an incomplete one too. Not only has Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLaine) always exerted control over as many parts of her life as possible, she was always been very disagreeable as she did so. Years ago, she angrily quit the ad agency that she helped to found because she didn't like how one of her clients conducted a focus group. She once told her gynecologist(!), "When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you." Her parish priest even admits, "I hated her. So much." These days, Harriet's retired. She lives alone in her big house and exerts her brand of rude control by chastising her gardener for trimming her hedges from top to bottom, instead of from bottom to top, as she has instructed him, "many times" he admits with a sigh. Then, when she reads someone's obituary in her local newspaper, she finds something else to control.

Harriet visits the paper's offices and asks the editor, Ronald Odom (Tom Everett Scott), to introduce her to the obituary writer, Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried). Sitting behind Ronald's desk, Harriet gives Anne the assignment to write her obituary now, so she can be sure she'll be satisfied with what will be published about her in the newspaper after she is gone. Ronald tells Anne that Harriet had been a great friend to the paper when she did ads for Ronald's father and implies that she might remember the paper in her will. "Make her happy," is Ronald's simple instruction to Anne, who reluctantly gets to work. The problem is that there just isn't much to say about Harriet beyond her past career accomplishments – and Anne can't find a single person to say anything nice about her – even from the list of names that she received from Harriet herself. Naturally, Harriet is dissatisfied with Anne's first draft – and tells her so.

Harriet has read a number of obituaries and determined that there are four things that make a good obituary: a loving family, the respect of co-workers, touching the life of someone who needs a helping hand and… a wild card, something unique in the life of the deceased that provides the proverbial icing on the cake. Harriet knows that Anne won't write anything about Harriet that is not truthful, so she gets Anne to help her "shape a legacy". Without giving away how all of this shakes out, I'll just say that this journey puts Harriet and Anne in touch with Harriet's ex-husband (Phillip Baker Hall), Harriet's estranged daughter (Anne Heche), a former co-worker (Joel Murray), an at-risk youth (AnnJewel Lee Dixon) and a charming disc jockey (Thomas Sadoski). And as the two women work together on Harriet's unusual project, she does some unwelcome, but well-intentioned meddling in Anne's personal life as well.

"The Last Word" is a relatively original and very well-done genre film. Sure, it's formulaic, but movies use formulas for a reason. The real question is whether the film tells its story effectively and this one definitely does. The script from Stuart Ross Fink (writing his first feature) creates a fresh take on the trope of examining a life not-so-well-lived and gives us interesting characters. The excellent actors bring out the nuances in those characters and director Mark Pellington ("Arlington Road", "The Mothman Prophecies") gives the film a great balance of comedy, drama, life lessons and just plain fun. The film's ending may be predictable, but getting there is a very rewarding experience. Movie Fans (especially fans of Ms. MacLaine) will likely be thankful that, with other projects in the works, this film won't be the last word in Shirley MacLaine's stellar career. It also makes us look forward to much more to come from the talented Seyfried, the spunky newcomer Dixon and rookie writer Fink, with this impressive debut. This great mix of well-established talent with others just starting out makes for one enjoyable film. "A-"

Reviewed by pamma09 7 / 10

Pleasant but not great

This is a predictable movie - will not give anything away as you will see it for yourself. Shirley Maclaine is fun to watch and believable -she is a lady used to having her way and all of a sudden she is having questions about how she will be remembered. The main characters beside her, are the obit writer and the young person she is going to help and turn their life around. This is a film that is easy to watch, predictable and believable. Just not a great one but a good way to spend the afternoon.

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 6 / 10

Watch it for Shirley MacLaine's performance

"The Last Word" (2017 release; 108 min.) brings the story of an elderly woman, Harriett. As the movie opens, we get a montage of pictures from Harriet's baby days all the way to today as the opening credits roll by. We then get to know Harriett, as she is at home, bored and unsure what to do with herself. Her interactions with staff and the hairdresser are anything but nice. Then one day she see an obituary in the newspaper, and panic-stricken, she wonders how she'll be remembered. She takes matters in her own hands and engages Anne, the newspaper writer responsible for these obituaries, sending her off to meet a list of "friends and family" that Harriett gives her. Turns out that nobody on that list has anything nice to day about Harriett... At this point we're 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is directed by Mark Pellington, best known for his work in the music industry (he directed the "U2 3D" movie, among others). Here he seemingly goes in a completely different direction, how a controlling, not-so-nice older, rich woman deals with how people may remember her after her death. If it sounds a bit macabre, well it is. But worse, unfortunately for the viewer, the movie's plot is so utterly predictable, that there are very few surprises, if at all. "She puts the bitch in obituary!", complains Anne to her boss at the Bristol Gazette. But very thankfully, at least from my perspective, the movie does find some redemption because, as it turns out, Pellington hasn't abandoned his music roots entirely, and in fact a significant part of the movie relates to a (fictitious) radio station called KOXA, "independent music for independent minds". Hence we get treated to a TON of fabulous music (The Regrettes, Witch, the Kinks, Salty Dog, and many, many more). The movie's other winning formula is of course the two lead performers, Shirley MacLaine (as Harriett, MacLaine is now a crisp 82 yrs. young), and Amanda Seyfried (as Anne), and both also executive-produced the film. Anne Heche has a small role as Harriett's daughter. Bottom line: this is an okay and entertaining movie, in the laziest kind of way, but the utter predictability undermines its strength.

"The Last Word" premiered to positive press (mostly for MacLaine's spunky performance) at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and it opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this past weekend. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at was attended nicely for a weeknight. The (mostly older) audience absolutely LOVED it, laughing and hollering on many occasions. If you are in the mood for an okay funny if mostly predictable movie starring the iconic Shirley MacLaine in a role she clearly relishes, you might want to give to a try, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.

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