THE CITY OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION
A young IranianAmerican academic (Omar Metwally, Munich) travels to Uruguay to try to convince the heirs of a famous Latin American novelist to cooperate in a biography of the great man. A Merchant-Ivory production, this movie has many of the team’s familiar qualities: it’s literary, high-minded, mannerly, and languidly paced, with a fine cast headed by Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. With Merchant gone, this is rumored to be the last film from 81-year-old director James Ivory. If it doesn’t measure up to his best, it’s still thoughtful, intelligent, and a worthy farewell. Rated PG-13. 118 minutes. In English and Spanish with subtitles.
CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)
IThe City of Your Final Destination, literary drama, rated PG-13, 118 minutes, in English and Spanish with subtitles, CCA Cinematheque, 3 chiles Merchant-Ivory is a brand name that has inspired confidence for almost half a century. The imprint endures, although half the team, the producer Ismail Merchant, died five years ago. The City of Your Final Destination, which went into production shortly after Merchant’s death and was completed three years ago amid a morass of financial and legal problems, is now being released. Word has it that this is the swan song of 82-year-old director James Ivory. If that proves to be the case, this picture would deserve attention simply out of respect, if for no other reason. But of course there are other reasons, if not perhaps quite so many or of such persuasiveness as in the past.
City has a number of familiar Merchant-Ivory trappings. It has a literary provenance (adapted from the 2002 novel by Peter Cameron) and a literary theme; it’s high-minded, mannerly, and languidly paced; and it boasts a fine cast headed by Merchant-Ivory veteran actor Anthony Hopkins ( The Remains of the Day, Howards End), Laura Linney, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
The story follows the fortunes of Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally, Munich), a young Iranian-
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