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MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for some thematic elements, sexual material, a brief accident scene and language

Reviewed by: Maggie Hays

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Drama, Romance, Adaptation
1 hr. 57 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
June 29, 2007 (limited)
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Relevant Issues
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What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer


Eternal life—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Final judgment

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
Are you going to Heaven?

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

Life Before Birth
Have questions about life before birth, or a woman’s choice about pregnancy and abortion? Visit our helpful, online presentation. Ask questions; get reliable answers.
Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer

Biblical women with admirable character, include: Mrs. Noah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Esther, Deborah, and Milcah, daugher of Zelophehad.

Featuring: Claire Danes
Toni Collette
Vanessa Redgrave
Patrick Wilson
Hugh Dancy
Glenn Close
Meryl Streep
Natasha Richardson
Dame Eileen Atkins
Mamie Gummer
Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Director: Lajos Koltai
Producer: Susan Minot, Michael Cunningham, Michael Hogan
Distributor: Focus Features

“Her greatest secret was her greatest gift.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A stellar cast unites for a drama adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham from the best-selling novel by Susan Minot. The film explores the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant (Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave) and her daughters, Constance (Tony Award winner Natasha Richardson) and Nina (Academy Award nominee Toni Collette). As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman (played by Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes). Emmy Award nominee Patrick Wilson plays Harris, the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets.”

This film is a well-made story of a dying mother’s memories, and her two daughters who try to figure out if their mother is hallucinating due to her pain meds, or if the people and events she speaks of are real. The star-power in this movie is amazing, with names like Streep, Redgrave, and Close. I’ll be honest with you, I would not ordinarily go to a “chick flick” movie like this, but I went for the sake of this review. So, here are the honest facts—

The bad things about “EVENING”:

  • There is a F-word early on.
  • The Lord’s name is profaned several times.
  • There is lots of drinking and drunkenness.
  • The two daughters of the dying woman seem to spend the first 2/3 of the story hatefully bickering with one another.
  • Several instances of passionate kissing between unmarried partners occurs.
  • Implied homosexuality of one main character, who kisses another man onscreen.
  • Rear view male nudity during a swimming sequence.
  • An unmarried woman reveals she is pregnant and wonders if she should bring the baby into the world.
  • An unmarried couple sleep together.
  • A woman lies dying and not one mention of prayer is made, or reference to anything spiritual.

So, as you can see, this is not a movie for children. I believe children would find this story boring and slow. It is told in flashbacks, as the dying woman remembers back to the '50s and her first love.

Despite all of the above, and admitting my own conservatism and Biblical worldview, I will also admit that I loved this movie. It is a story for adults. The scenery is beautiful, as is the soundtrack. I think every woman who is a mother or a sister may enjoy this film, though you have been cautioned above to the black marks against it. My husband, an evangelical preacher, attended with me and didn’t think this was just a chick flick. He said it was well-made and on a scale of 1-10 he would give it an 8.

Due to the above-mentioned negatives, I feel I should not recommend this movie for the Christian, but I do admit that I, personally, enjoyed it and found the story gripping, while my attention never wavered. I would say it’s hard to beat a Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Vanessa Redgrave combination when you’ve got an interesting story to tell.

Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—As I left the theatre, all I could think was, “What a beautiful movie.” The acting was superb, the photography and lighting were incredible, the story was one that made everyone laugh, cry and think—all at the same time. It is definitely a “keeper” that I will buy and watch over and over again when the DVD comes out. It was particularly fun for me to see Claire Danes with the “guy from the Gap commercial.”

I love those two in that ad about the “Boyfriend’s Trousers,” so it was really great to see them in a movie together. They definitely have good chemistry. But then so did everyone in the cast—whoever did the casting was brilliant. Can’t wait to read the book now.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
R Bosma, age 53
Positive—Beautifully made movie with accurate portrayal of dying people. they are often coming in and out of the past as this movie portrays. The effects of alcoholism on a family were far more prominent than the brothers sexual portrayal as possibly a homosexual. I didn’t like that the sisters argued during this precious time, but I am afraid art portrays life as it is, not as we want it to be. Take out the using the Lord’s name in vain. Didn’t enhance the movie, and it offends me as a Christian.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
Melissa Finnier, age 53
Neutral—After viewing “Evening” I found myself confused. This film is very slow, unexplained, and mysterious. I believe there was more to the story, and maybe the book it was based on, holds the key. “Evening” felt like snippets of a story, which don’t quite fit together as they should. Despite wonderful performers, who did the best that they could, this movie lacked so much. As with the film “The Hours,” this movie contributed to the post-film feeling of depression and fell so far short of where it could have been. There are offensive features, as well as redemptive ones, to be plucked from this movie, but even with all of its kernels of goodness combined this still isn’t a good movie.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
Misty Wagner, age 31
Negative—If you want to be bored out of your mind, go see this movie. My wife and I just returned home, and I would have been willing to walk out fifteen minutes into the show. Language was not as bad as many shows, and there were not explicit sexual scenes. The show just seemed to drag and drag, with no ending in sight. There was some good acting, but the drunk in the show really distracted from what message there might have been. The character deciding to keep her baby and the boyfriend saying he would be there was at least one good point. I don’t go the movies very often, so I can’t compare this show to other “chick flicks,” but, as I said, it is very boring.
My Ratings: Average / 1½
John Lasne, age 54