#REVIEW: “THE LAST FIVE YEARS”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Writer/Director Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) delivers his first-ever Musical, The Last Five Years with absolute success. The beautiful Drama soars high thanks to a phenomenal pair in Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. As the Story shifts in time, we find ourselves swept away through the happiness and resentment in Cathy and Jamie‘s compelling Love Story. The Film surely is not your happy-go-lucky type of Romance, but it certainly pulls on all the right heartstrings and should not be overlooked even in limited release this Valentine’s Day.
Cathy (Kendrick) and Jamie (Jordan) are front and center here, with our attentions on their relationship over the past five years. We witness their love at its most beautiful and like other great Films about the heartbreaking realities of love, including Blue Valentine and Like Crazy, we see that distance grow between the Couple with startling realism. Sometimes things are meant to be, and in other cases they don’t work out the way we want them to.
Kendrick as we have seen in her fantastic work in Pitch Perfect, has a wonderful gift of a voice that keeps us coming back for a repeat listen. Her portrayal of Cathy from lovestruck to heartbroken Girlfriend only is accentuated by her unique talent as a Vocalist. In Numbers like I’m Still Hurting to A Summer in Ohio, she emotes with every single sung note. Jordan wows in a breakout performance here and in the most humanistic way possible becomes that Guy we love to hate. His performance in “The Schmuel Song” is one for the books and he brings a level of energy and enthusiasm to the Role, giving us that very magical essence of young love. Both Leads leave an indelible mark on our hearts.
Not every Musical Adaptation that makes it to the Big Screen has met our expectations, but The Last Five Years certainly is one of the best ones we’ve seen in recent memory, effectively making us want to see its original Broadway incarnation. And we hope this isn’t the last time we see Kendrick and Jordan paired.
eOne Films releases The Last Five Years at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Video-on-Demand on Friday February 13, 2015.