Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Last Five Years on DVD

The Last Five Years
[DVD Last]

This film is an excellent transformation of a fascinating, if somewhat depressing, stage musical from Jason Robert Brown. Semi-autobiographical in nature, the story is told — mostly in song — by a young couple chronicling a five-year romantic relationship that is ending with their separation. Not all that unusual, you say? The woman, Cathy, a struggling actress (portrayed here by Anna Kendrick), tells her story backwards, starting with the break-up. The man, Jamie, a rising successful novelist (played by Jeremy Jordan), tells his side of the story in traditional chronological order. Though the actors are obviously in each others scenes, all the songs are basically solos, until the middle of the story/movie, when their storylines converge on a scene showing his proposal and their wedding — the only “duet” in the entire musical.

The storytelling is intriguing, the actors are excellent in their roles, and their voices are well suited to the songs — Jeremy Jordan (currently starring in Supergirl, was the lead in the Broadway musicals Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde, starred in the TV musical series Smash in 2013, while Anna Kendrick has been hugely successful in films lately, including musical turns in both Pitch Perfect movies and as Cinderella in Into the Woods). The story is an excellent five-year “slice of life”, it’s just that it is ultimately depressing to watch this relationship break down, from two different directions. Still…a fascinating film, especially for fans of musicals.

Also of note: This stage musical will be performed locally in 2017.

[Also available: Soundtracks to both the 2013 Off-Broadway cast recording and the film soundtrack, via our Hoopla digital service.]
[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official The Last Five Years movie web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

No comments: