Writer: Charles Savage (Screenplay) N.J. Crisp (Play)
Starring: John Hurt, Sofia Helin, Max Brown, Erin Richards, Charles Dance
Plot: Ralph, a once-famous screenwriter, is in his seventies and terminally ill. He has two final missions: to be reconciled to his son, Michael, and, secretly, to ensure he is not a burden to his wife, Anna, as he goes “into that good night”.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Life and its Importance
Story: That Good Night starts as Ralph (Hurt) a once-famous screenwriter learns that his treatment isn’t going well, he wants to reunite with his estranged son Michael (Brown) before telling his wife Anna (Helin), Ralph has set up everything for when his passes, but his stubborn attitude is only pushing away the relationships he wants to rebuild.
Thoughts on That Good Night
Characters – Ralph is a famous screenwriter, he has lived a selfish life, where he has always looked after himself over anybody, including his own son, he learns his days are numbered which makes him want to reconnect with his son, only he is just as distant as he always was, he must figure out how to make everything right before his time is up. Anna is the wife of Ralph, she has made him happy for years after their own meeting in a hospital years before. Michael is the estranged son that Ralph pushed out of his life, he has created his own life with his own girlfriend and career without his father, he has wanted to let him back in only it hasn’t been as easy as he thought it would be. The Visitor comes to Ralph when he is alone, giving him advice about the situation he finds himself in.
Performances – John Hurt gives one of his final performances here, one that is right up there with one of his best, because it shows how he gives us a character that is facing a life and death situation. Sofia Helin, Max Brown, Erin Richards and Charles Dance all give great performances in the supporting roles in the film.
Story – The story here follows an elderly screenwriter that is facing his own mortality and wants to rebuild the relationship with his distant son, even if he needs to learn to change himself if he is ever going to face a chance to do this. This story does focus on the idea that no matter how much time you have left, you should always try to make up for anything you don’t want to lose in life. We do see this happen slightly too easily considering just how distant it is applied the problems between the two are, though it does make you see just how difficult life can be for everybody in life. It does use a unique way for Ralph to see the light in his life, which is a nice touch to make it seem different to others.
Settings – The film uses the beautiful remote house as the backdrop for the most point showing us just how success can give you a life away from people, reflect the distant in relationship Ralph has with people in general.
Scene of the Movie – Hurt and Dance chat, such great sequences.
Final Thoughts – This is a lovely almost tribute to John Hurt, which reflects the sad truth of his passing, it does show us how life can come to an end and that you will need to get everything you want together before it is too late.
Overall: Lovely tribute to John Hurt.