Starting Out in the Evening
Faithful in style and spirit to the award-winning novel by Brian Morton, Andrew Wagner's wise, observant, and exquisitely tacit chamber piece complicates every May-December, academic-novel cliché. A mutually dependent relationship unfolds between Leonard Schiller (Frank Langella), an old-school writer of the Bellow-Roth-Howe generation of realists; and Heather (Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose), the eager-beaver Brown University grad who tries to persuade him that her forthcoming master's thesis on his work will put a new shine on the old man's dusty reputation. Wagner's grasp of the clash between old and new academe is witty and quietly assured — neither world gets off lightly, or without sympathy. If Starting Out is a movie about how little we know and how much we presume, it is also about transformation, about heartbreak and halting renewal.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.