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The Last September (1999)

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In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying... See full summary »

Director:

Deborah Warner

Writers:

Elizabeth Bowen (novel), John Banville (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Gambon ... Sir Richard Naylor
Tom Hickey Tom Hickey ... O'Brien
Keeley Hawes ... Lois Farquar
David Tennant ... Gerald Colthurst
Richard Roxburgh ... Daventry
Gary Lydon Gary Lydon ... Peter Connolly
Maggie Smith ... Lady Myra
Maeve Kearney Maeve Kearney ... Maid 1
Lambert Wilson ... Hugo Montmorency
Jane Birkin ... Francie Montmorency
Jonathan Slinger ... Laurence Carstairs
Francine Mulrooney Francine Mulrooney ... Maid 2
Fiona Shaw ... Marda Norton
Emily Nagle ... Livvy Connolly
Catherine Walsh Catherine Walsh ... Doreen Hartigan
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Storyline

In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying to cover up that they are presently homeless. The niece enjoys romantic frolics with a soldier and a hidden guerrilla fighter. All of the principals are thrown into turmoil when one more guest arrives with considerable wit and unwanted advice. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the heart of a young woman, lies a secret that divides a nation.

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | UK | Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az utolsó ősz See more »

Filming Locations:

Slane, County Meath, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$478,053

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$478,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Fiona Shaw, and David Tennant all appeared in Harry Potter Movies See more »

Soundtracks

You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)
(1913)
Music by James V. Monaco (as James Monaco)
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy (as James McCarthy)
Performed by Al Jolson
Published by Francis Day and Hunter Limited-Redwood Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Living in a very particular time and place.
7 April 2000 | by paulcreedenSee all my reviews

"The Last September" is set in County Cork, Ireland in 1920, just prior to the institution of the Irish Free State, the days of Michael Collins. (Mr. Collins and the other scions of the revolution are notably absent in this film.) The view of the film is narrowed to the trials and tribulations of Anglo-Irish aristocrats, and friends, who inhabit their country manor on their last Summer holiday in colonial Cork.

The film's strength is its microscopic cinematic views of the lives of the aristocrats and their guests. The filming is rich and startling. Small distracted moments are captured with amazing effect. Reflections in picture frame glass and windows are very compelling. The viewer is sometimes made an involuntary voyeur. This created a discomfort, an edge, for me.

Sometimes Gothic, sometimes just frustratingly slow, the film's moods are overpowering. I felt like I had been made one of the aristocratic "tribe", as they call themselves. I could experience their self restraint and quit desperation at times. I found myself twisting in my seat at these moments.

Lois, played marvelously by Keeley Hawes, reminded me of Lucy Harmon in Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty", as played marvelously by Liv Tyler. The film has trouble staying focused on her. Perhaps this is to be expected, since she represents the

elusive True Spirit of the Irish, conflicted about passion and pride, freedom and violence. Fiona Shaw captures in her character what Lois must become. The relationship between the two women is a painfully powerful representation of the Death of Self at the hands of conventions, the consequences of classism, sexism and tribalism.

The handling of the the other characters seemed cursory and prone to stereotyping. Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith did the work and turned the coal of potentially predictable rich 'county' types to diamonds of lovably faceted eccentrics.

The film is not easy. The time did not fly by. There were many laughs. There were many stunning visual and emotional moments. I guess it was like life itself, in a particular place and time.


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