Movie Recommendation- The Last September
THE LAST SEPTEMBER (1999)
The Last September was the film debut for theatrical director Deborah Warner. She chose to adapt Elizabeth Bowen’s 1929 novel which tells the story of a wealthy family living in County Cork, Ireland in 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. Though this family thinks of itself as Irish, the guerrillas combating the British government presence in their homeland don’t feel the same way. In a strict sense, however, all this is really just the backdrop to familial drama and romance. In a more abstract way, though, it’s all the film is about. The unease, which occasionally spills over into dread, informs everything that goes on. Some characters are more passionate because of it; others just try harder to be nonchalant. These people and more are inhabited by a stellar cast. Michael Gambon, Richard Roxburgh, Maggie Smith, Lambert Wilson and Fiona Shaw are all present. In addition, this film was my first exposure to the wonderful David Tennant. Still, the real star of the film is that atmosphere and, with the talented cinematographer Slawomir Idziak (Blue, Black Hawk Down) behind the camera, the very air is heavy with dread and the fear that comes with being at the inevitable end of a time for which you already know you’ll be nostalgic. After thirteen years, I’m still eagerly awaiting Warner’s second film.