"the film's cleverness is derived from the way it defies all of our expectations"
Evening, easily one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking movies I've ever seen. That doesn't mean it's the best... but it is good. The acting is all fantastic, but really how could you go wrong with this cast. Toni Collette does a wonderful job as the confused daughter who has to watch her mother die before her eyes... while something equally dramatic is taking place inside her. Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep and Eileen Atkins are all wonderful, as usual. The only real disappointment of this film was the small size of Glenn Close's role. She easily has the smallest role in the film. However, she still has one of the most affecting scenes in the film, a tribute to her amazing ability. Natasha Richardson is also likable, as always.
The best acting in the film, though, easily goes to up-and-coming star Hugh Dancy. He was phenomenal and every second he was on screen was brilliance. Mr. Dancy portrayed the angst and emotion of his character (the best character in the movie) unlike anything I've ever seen before. He out-acted all of the amazing women surrounding him.
In the end, Evening is about life and the way we choose to live it. The film's cleverness is derived from the way it defies all of our expectations. The characters are not at all who they seem to be at first glance, and by the end you've realized quite a few things about both them and yourself. The film is rather slow in some parts, and that is a downside. However, it never distorts the message, which is clear: Live your life. Don't spend your life worrying and stressing- just go with it. It's a timely message, indeed.