Thursday, May 20, 2010


The City of Your Final Destination

The City of Your Final Destination What would you expect when a group of Academy Award winners and nominees come together to make a film about an upper-class writer's family affair? If Masterpiece Theatre on PBS comes to your mind, you are probably not too far off when you watch the quiet and good-looking melodrama "The City of Your Final Destination" (USA 2009 | 118 min.), based on a novel by Peter Cameron.

After a renowned writer Jules Gund commits suicide, he leaves a remote farm estate in Uruguay to his family. The family members who live a quiet life on the premises include Gund's widow Caroline (Laura Linney), Gund's mistress Arden (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and their daughter Portia, Gund's brother Adam (Anthony Hopkins), and Adam's lover of 25 years Peter (Hiroyuki Sanada) since Peter was 15.

Gund and his mysterious family become the subject of interest for a Ph.D. graduate student Omar (Omar Metwally) who desperately needs the authorization from the family in order to write a Gund's authorized autobiography. After being denied by the family, Omar is commanded by his bossy girlfriend Deirdre (Alexandra Maria Lara) and shows up at the estate hoping to convince the family to change their mind. Omar's unannounced visit not only disturbs the calm country life, but also ignites love interest in Arden.

The plot certainly lacks the gravitation and credibility. Does anybody care one way or the other how the story might turn out to any of these privileged characters? However, the film is still pleasant to watch due to the great performance from the award winning actors, the gorgeous cinematography, and even the beautiful music scores. Watching Laura Linney's superb acting as Caroline, the masterminded, sharp tongued, yet emotionally traumatized widow, you sense the injustice that Laura Linney still does not have an Oscar even she has been nominated for three times.

Laura Linney in The City of Your Final Destination

The film is like an Academy Award after party which full of the awardees and nominees. The film is directed by the three-time Academy Award nominated director James Ivory; written by two-time Academy Award winning screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; played by Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins, three-time Academy Award nominee Laura Linney, and Academy Award nominee Norma Aleandro; original music by Academy Award winner Jorge Drexler; and collaborated with many more award winning artists.

Let's hope Laura Linney will finally get her trophy this time.

"The City of Your Final Destination" opens on Friday, May 21, 2010 at Bay Area theaters.

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