A Night to Remember..

Tustained by the memory of his now-dead wife dancing naked for him fifty years earlier, retired violinist Joseph hopple (the estimable Arm in Mueller-Stahl) measures his declining days by precise maintenance rituals: visiting his decrepit but lusty friend (Lionel Slander) in a nursing home; deflecting overtures from his neighbor (Maureen Stapleton); and keeping his Brooklyn studio in its accustomed genteel poverty. The dull calm of his life is rudely interrupted by Charlotte (Olivia d’Abo), a nubile voting loser in leather who knocks on his door seeking refuge from an abusive boyfriend. Joseph takes her in, the pair forms one of those unlikely attachments that happen in movies, and Joseph’s life speeds up for better and worse. Based on a novel by Richard Bansch, The Last Hood Time is a small film in the best sense. Directed with tact by actor Bob Balaban, and with a well-oiled ensemble performance from the cast, the film has a delicate touch with the fragile currents of affection and resentment that run between powerless people with only each other to depend on. The movie celebrates old age, but Balaban doesn’t try to persuade you that tomorrow is the first day of anybody’s life. He merely suggests that if you live with open eves and heart, something interesting will happen, even at your eleventh hour.