Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 32m
Adapted from N J Crisp’s stage play, “That Good Night” grapples gamely with several difficult themes.
Overhanging the whole production, is the poignancy of John Hurt playing the main character Ralph; a declining screenwriter diagnosed with a terminal illness, even as Hurt himself was dying of pancreatic cancer.
Ralph’s final two ambitions are to patch things up with his son - a tall order given a lifetime of largely adversarial parenting - and to protect his wife from the painful trauma of his own death. These admirable aims won’t be easy however, given Ralph’s resolutely grouchy nature - at his first meeting with his son’s fiancée he insults her for no discernible reason.
Determinedly spikey hair, determinedly spikey character.
This is the kind of role at which Hurt excels - winning our sympathy for an essentially troubled character. Here he is effortlessly supported by Charles Dance as The Visitor, bringing his own easy intelligence to the familial mix.
Although sometimes a little stagey, the production looks sumptuous, the cast is strong and the storyline thought-provoking. Predominantly though, come and remind yourself how much we will miss Hurt.
Registered in England at The Odyssey, 166 London Road, St Albans AL1 1PQ
Company No: 7103180 VAT No: 986538360