Last Embrace (1979)

Jonathan Demme directs Roy Scheider, Janet Margolin and Christopher Walken in this thriller where a grieving secret agent finds himself in a Hitchcockian plot.

A pastiche of the Master that only makes fleeting sense in the passing moment. A cinematic tone poem of parody and imagery. You spend the first half of the film puzzling whether it is all in Scheider’s head… the paranoia convinces… then the second half trying to not look too hard at the explanatory mystery as it is random, unguessable and kinda dumb. The set-pieces are solid homages. Scheider is great manly value as always. Margolin makes a lot out of a very uneven, underwritten role – shifting from untrustworthy good girl to sexy fatale. Walken does impressive stuff in one fantastic scene. He’s so young here but confident in his mannerism. It is like the old legend has used that en vogue de-aging technology and sent his CGI performance back in time from 2019 to 1978. Great score and opening credits.

5

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