Mr Morgan’s Last Love


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

"Caine makes the most of the material on offer."

This is rather a strange hybrid: a star vehicle for British icon Michael Caine, written and directed by a German film-maker, Sandra Nettlebeck, whose credits include Helen and Mostly Martha, and shot in Paris with some additional Belgian money.

Perhaps the multiple influences explain some of its awkward and off-key moments, a rather lack-lustre script and Caine’s sporadic attempts at an American accent.

Copy picture

It’s not all bad and it does have its touching moments. Caine plays Matthew Morgan, a grief obsessed American professor in Paris who has just lost his wife. A chance encounter with Clémence Poésy as a young and vibrant dance teacher helps to take his mind off matters and gives him the impetus to get out and about.

There are walks through Paris, lunches in the park, and trips to the country, as the friendship develops. So far so upbeat but Morgan’s demons return and he ends up in hospital from a drugs overdose.

His estranged son Miles (Justin Kirk) and his sister Karen (Gillian Anderson) leave their own families in the States and gather around the bedside to try to work out what is best for their father. Meanwhile the French infiltrator has troubles of her own.

In Françoise Dorner’s original book on which the film is based, Caine’s character is French, but Nettelbeck chose to make the main character American as part of the project’s “international” appeal, but fortunately kept many other elements from book.

There is a nagging feeling, however, that rather too much seems to have been lost in translation.

Accents aside, Caine makes the most of the material on offer while the fresh faced Clémence Poésy gives the pairing more depth than you might expect at the outset.

The production values are handsome with a restrained score by Hans Zimmer helping to paper over some of the cracks.

Reviewed on: 12 Aug 2013
Share this with others on...
A retired philosophy professor falls for a young Parisian woman.
Amazon link

Director: Sandra Nettelbeck

Writer: Sandra Nettelbeck, based on the book by Françoise Dorner.

Starring: Gillian Anderson, Michael Caine, Clémence Poésy

Year: 2013

Runtime: 116 minutes

Country: Germany, Belgium, USA, France

Search database: