Last Chance Harvey (Directed and Written by Joel Hopkins)
starz denver film festival – closing night – sat, nov 22
Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is a rejected man. His job is fragile when he leaves for London to attend his daughter’s wedding. And when he arrives, Harvey finds that his family has distanced themselves from him and even his soon-to-be-wedded daughter prefers her step-father over him.
Stressed out and desperate, Harvey leaves the wedding early to fly home, hoping to secure his position as a New York jingle-writer and make an all-too-important meeting. But again, Harvey meets defeat, arriving at the airport late and missing his flight.
At the end of his rope and completely devastated, he wanders into the airport bar where he strikes up a conversation with a reluctant Kate Walker (Emma Thompson).
Kate is a lonely 40-something who is uncomfortable with her current life. She’s lonely and mostly alone, with the exception of her overbearing and nosy mother. Reduced to the occasional blind date and romance novel, Kate wishes for something more; something different.
In their chance meeting and both seemingly at the same point in their lives, Harvey and Kate find an unlikely spark of hope.
In “Last Chance Harvey,” writer and director Joel Hopkins beautifully captures the necessity, fragility, and desire of human relationships, be they occupational, biological, or romantic. This film is wonderfully written and a viewer can’t help but fall in love with and root for the two main characters, Harvey and Kate.
It is a testament to Hopkins talent when he’s able to secure the acting caliber the likes of Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, who both personify their characters immaculately and have an undeniable on-screen chemistry together.
“Last Chance Harvey” is a warmhearted, underdog love story. It’s a story of finding hope, courage, strength, inspiration, and even love in a complete stranger… or at least taking that chance. It’s the story of how feeling accepted and being believed in can change, enhance, and improve one’s self worth. It’s hard to walk away from this film without being touched in some way.