This is a CIFF Capsule Review, Expect a Full Length Version at its Domestic Release.
Anna Kendrick stars in The Last Five Years, an adaptation of a broadway play that has such a slight, intelligible understanding of films and filmmaking that moments of delight are shockingly few. I’d settle for minor amusement, but director Richard LaGravenese struggles on even the basics: the camera is in almost constant motion, zig-zaggering, turning, panning, raising, and even spinning. The Last Five Years tells the story of a break-up across multiple time periods, time zones, and cities, following almost exclusively two characters: Cathy Hyatt and Jamie Wellerstein. Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan sing well although the songs are neither memorable or fun, and they try and carry the picture. How to stage the musical numbers in cinematic terms, like Les Mis, was severely misjudged and confused, misunderstanding both cinema and theater in a myriad of bad decisions. Watching The Last Five Years was a disorienting, upsetting experience, and only the biggest fans of musical theater should make the trip to the cinema.
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