20 June 2014
Last Love is a quiet movie about beginnings and endings set in Paris and and the picturesque walled island of Saint-Malo. Michael Caine plays a widowed professor (Matthew) who regularly contemplates suicide and Clemence Poesy is a lonely dance teacher (Pauline) with no family or personal ties. They strike up a friendship and fill the blanks in each others lives that his children and her boyfriends can't reach. The set design helps to reveal who these characters are, while also being lovely to look at. Pauline's apartment is colorless and largely devoid of furniture. She hasn't made any major commitments in her life yet and she lives like someone who expects to be on the move before long. In contrast, Matthew's large Paris apartment represents a lifetime of choices with its overstuffed library, the bedroom full of personal finishes and the stack of newspapers by the door. The house on Saint-Malo is further evidence of the history he shared with his wife. People have a way of lingering in spaces long after they're gone and that can be both a comfort and a curse.
Images: Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.