July 3, 2014 4:13 pm

Mr Morgan’s Last Love – film review

Michael Caine is endearing as a man coming to terms with his wife’s death in this sentimental film
Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy in ‘Mr Morgan’s Last Love’

Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy in ‘Mr Morgan’s Last Love’

Old actors never die. Some just look as if they have; or as if they might at any moment. In the first frames of his performance in Mr Morgan’s Last Love, Michael Caine looks alarmingly mortal. Pale skin, pale, fixedly staring eyes; the immobility of a creature condemned to eternal inward contemplation; rigor vitae as a prelude to rigor mortis. He comes alive, thank goodness, quite soon. This sentimental, platitude-strewn film needs him. Caine is good in his designer-gauche way as the bereaved wrinkly coming to terms, or trying, with the death of a wife (Jane Alexander) and seeking to repair the estrangement of two children never entrusted with the secret of her illness. They stayed in America; the expat parents in France.

Caine the character still can’t speak French. Caine the actor still can’t speak American, although – funny world – he won his two Oscars for stateside roles (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cider House Rules). Here he is again, endearing, credible, quirky; that dogged, slightly knock-kneed waddle of a walk, that staccato voice. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, magnified to human size, it might very well be Sir Michael Caine.

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