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'The Last September'

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 28, 2000


    'The Last September' Love and politics clash in "The Last September." (Trimark Pictures)
This diverting drama, based on Elizabeth Bowen's novel, is about the demise of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy in Ireland, a class known as the Ascendancy, who found itself caught between two opposed cultures. Protected by the British army, they identify themselves as Irish, yet cannot escape the enmity of the locals.

In County Cork, 1920, at the country home of Sir Richard Naylor (Michael Gambon) and his wife, Lady Myra (Maggie Smith), these political tensions reach boiling point when a British Army captain (David Tennant) falls in love with Lois Farquar (Keeley Hawes), Sir Richard's freespirited, 19-year-old niece. But Lois is attracted to Peter Connolly (Gary Lydon), an Irish freedom fighter (or terrorist, depending on who's labeling whom) who hides out in a water mill on the estate.

The movie is more interesting for the world it evokes rather than the drama that unfolds. But there are satisfying performances from Hawes, whose charming presence, gives life to Lois; and the wonderful Fiona Shaw, who plays Marda Norton, another Anglo-Irish resident, who has had a similarly dangerous love affair a decade earlier.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER (R, 104 minutes) – Contains sexual situations, a rape and violence.


© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

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