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The City of Your Final Destination

Directed by James Ivory (Hyde Park International)

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Remember when the release of a Merchant Ivory picture was an event? Sadly, producer Ismail Merchant is gone now, but James Ivory, who has been directing since the 1950s, is still helming stately dramas with a light touch. His longtime collaborator, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, adapts a novel by Peter Cameron about a young writer who travels to Uruguay to seek a family’s authorization for a biography of a deceased author. Anthony Hopkins plays the flamboyant brother, Laura Linney the brittle widow and Charlotte Gainsbourg works her usual ashen fragility as the mistress, with whom the author fathered a child. They all live together in a beautiful rural estate, held fast in time since the death of the man that united them. At two hours the drama is a little under-cooked, but it’ll do for those of us missing the glory years of the Merchant Ivory brand.

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