Last Chance Harvey


STARRING: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson

Making music: Thompson and Hoffman

Second chances can be hard to come by in middle age as the world spins inexorably, leaving you scrabbling to cling on. New York jingle writer Harvey Shine (Hoffman) has been lost in the shuffle: an appendage in the lives of his ex-wife (Kathy Baker) and daughter (Liane Balaban), he is also about to be squeezed out of his go-nowhere gig. As a single Londoner of a certain age, Kate Walker (Thompson) is another lost case in point.


If the exclusionist logic of life had its way, Harvey and Kate would have faded into resignation. But then the two meet at London’s Heathrow Airport. Charmed by Kate’s warm forthrightness, Harvey keeps tabs on her, all the way to something special.


Hoffman and Thompson — two not-so-old pros — know exactly what they’re about in this blithe love story from writer-director Joel Hopkins. Not one gesture is superfluous, not one note rings off-key. We believe in Harvey and Kate implicitly, in the hopes they haven’t quite abandoned and the loneliness they courageously refuse to accept.