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Film Reviews The Last Five Years: Anna Kendrick back in another movie musical

The Last Five Years stars Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan and is based on the musical by Jason Robert Brown.

eOne

2 out of 4 stars

Written by
Richard LaGravenese
Directed by
Richard LaGravenese
Starring
Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English

Just weeks after the Stephen Sondheim musical Into The Woods opened in theatres, Anna Kendrick is back on the screen, performing in a kind of Sondheim-lite musical, Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years.

Brown's musical, inspired by his own failed marriage, premiered in Chicago in 2001 and has spawned numerous productions and earned a deep cult following, as evidenced by the many YouTube covers of its tuneful songs with their conversational lyrics.

For the film version, Richard LaGravenese (best known as the writer of The Fisher King) takes The Last Five Years off the boards and into the streets, parks and New York apartments, but this bare-bones adaptation is more of a sop to the musical's fans than a fully imagined movie musical. In the script, Kendrick's character, Cathy, is a struggling musical performer, upstaged by her novelist husband, Jamie (Jeremy Jordan), whose meteoric rise condemns their marriage to failure.

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In the film, the reverse is true: The blandly handsome Jordan is overshadowed by Kendrick, who earns our sympathy with the pathos of the opening song Still Hurting, and our affection with her A Summer in Ohio, about the meagre rewards of summer stock theatre.

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