Evening

Susan Minot's resplendent novel of a dying woman, Ann Lord (Vanessa Redgrave), remembering her defining romance with the man who got away (Patrick Wilson) stumbles on its way to the screen. Hungarian director Lajos Koltai (Fateless) pushes emotions that need to flow. But the actors, including Toni Collette and Natasha Richardson (Redgrave is her mom) as Ann's daughters, provide flashes of brilliance. Hugh Dancy scores as the plot's catalyst for tragedy. And Claire Danes is stellar as the young Ann, attending the Newport, Rhode Island, wedding of her friend Lila (Mamie Gummer). Even if you don't know that Gummer, 23, is the daughter of Meryl Streep, who plays the older Lila, the resemblance hits you instantly. But Gummer proves her talent is her own in a -is-born performance that signals an exceptional career ahead.

From The Archives Issue 262: April 6, 1978