I guess you could label this a pop-operetta? From the other reviews I have read here I see this was first an off-Broadway musical ... I have no access to off-Broadway so my only source is the movie.My first impression was unfavorable as Anna Kendrick is a bit nasal with her singing - BUT - this didn't bother me very long. As the story progresses the plot becomes more interesting and the relationship between Cathy Anna & Jamie Jeremy Jordan becomes more complex with both moving in different directions. Cathy starting her story at the relationship end & Jamie starting his story <more>
at relationship beginning. Most of the songs are well delivered but unfortunately are not memorable. At least for me Jeremy Jordan is quite a capable singer and his delivery of the "The Schmuel Song" is witty & charming. I loved the settings and editing! At movies end I felt I had seen something clever and unique and felt well entertained!!Making a musical film for the 21st Century audience is not an easy task. But Director Richard LaGravenese has pulled it off with great success!! Enjoy!
Anna Kendrick is the star of this musical (by abajax)
I saw "Up in the Air" and I thought, that Anna Kendrick is a cute kid and, wow, Oscar nomination I guess she is up-and-coming. I didn't notice much about her until, in 2014, when I accidentally saw "Pitch Perfect" and I enjoyed that movie a lot. I noticed her again because of her singing and I fell for her then. I realized that she is an unique talent; she can act, she's wonderful and very funny, and she sings like an angel. I became a fan.When I heard about Anna Kendrick doing this musical, "The Last Five Years", I was looking forward too. Even more so, <more>
after seeing her in "Into the Woods". Anna Kendrick doesn't disappoint because she is the star of this film. Jeremy Jordan was great and held his own. But, Anna's portrayal of Cathy is amazing and you'll end up falling for her. My heart ended up aching for Cathy because of Anna.See this musical and you won't be disappointed. The movie will tug at your heart strings.
The last five years was an extremely pleasant surprise for me. First of all, you won't enjoy the movie if you watch it without knowing the setting. It's a simple yet wonderful story about a marriage that's falling apart and it is told in a unique way as the wife Anna Kendrick tells the story backwards and the husband Jeremy Jordan tells it forwards. The songs are wonderful with very smart lyrics, but what really brings this movie to life is it's charismatic talented leads. Anna Kendrick shines in this it might be my favorite movie of hers so far . I mean what a set of <more>
pipes! She is the definition of "triple threat" in this musical. Her acting, singing and dancing are all done to perfection. She also steals the focus in a few of Jordan's songs with her honest portrayal and hilarious reactions. Still I must give Jeremy Jordan props, I've only seen him in Smash and I wasn't really impressed. In this movie though, he proves himself a great actor and performer. I highly recommend this movie to musical lovers like myself. But I'd bet anyone can really enjoy this.
A Heavy, Heart-Wrenching, Heavenly Movie (by writerever365)
This movie worried me. Being a fan of the original work, I was truly worried. Given the intricate and complicated mode or storytelling, as well as the music, which is advanced music, far above the simple rock chords of RENT or PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, I worried that either it wouldn't transfer well or that the charm and emotional pull of the piece would be lost. Let me set those worries right to rest - this musical is everything the original work was and more, but more importantly, this musical is fresh. What do I mean by fresh? Well, the original work was performed in 2002. Some of the <more>
lyrics reflect that eg, references to Borders bookstores . But the musical has been revitalized for a more modern audience. Skype is used, Russell Crowe's less-than-wonderful musical turn is referenced. The orchestration is updated, but not mangled, to fit a more mainstream audience.Now, onto the actual movie.First, the stars. This may be one of the best musical movies ever made, simply because of the casting. For those that don't know, the story focuses on only two characters - Cathy and Jamie. No one else sings, and virtually no one else has any sort of character. Most oftentimes, the film industry casts star pull over talent, as evidenced by Russell Crowe as Javert, Gerard Butler as the Phantom of the Opera, and Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd. But this is not the case here. While Anna Kendrick has some star pull with her recent success, she is clearly more talent that star power. She truly shines as Cathy, a slightly bookish, slightly wimpy musical theater star-in-the-making. Her vocal power is just what this role has been yearning for. On the other end of the spectrum, you have Jeremy Jordan, whom only musical theater fans will know. His success on the cult favorite hit, SMASH, notwithstanding, Jordan is here purely for talent. And what a talent he is! Surpassing everyone who has played the role thus far, Jordan winks and smiles his way through as the impish egotistical, yet loving Jamie. The stars are perfect for the roles they're in - nuff said.Now, the direction. Richard LaGravanese works wonders with the movie. The way he chose to present each scene and how they all tie together in the end is a work of art and a joy to behold as a musical theater nerd myself.Third, the cinematography. This is the ONLY read: only slight qualm I have with the film. The shooting style, at times, feel cagey, and sometimes too intimate. This is a very intimate story, but sometimes, the camera work feels like it was not used to its full effect. Then, however, there are times when the movie works beautifully on a cinematographic level. The sequence, "A Summer In Ohio" is one of the best-choreographed and best-shot musical numbers ever. "The Next Ten Minutes", however, is one of the worst. You're getting both ends of the spectrum here.There's not much else to talk about. There was no big special effects budget. There is no supporting cast to speak of. The music is immune to criticism. If you love musical theater, The Last Five years stage play, love stories, or just interesting movies, this is the movie for you!
I became a fan of L5Y when I saw a regional production in the Berkshires. I instantly fell in love with the songs and the concept. Since then, I have also seen the recent off-Broadway production directed by Jason Robert Brown himself and have listened to the original cast album non-stop. When I heard they were making a movie of this, I was skeptical, because in the show, neither Jaimie nor Cathy ever share scenes together save for one wedding scene in the middle. I was further skeptical when I heard that they were going to have them in every scene together.Well, I saw the film on demand last <more>
night and I have to say, first let's speak about the music. The reason I loved the music so much was because it had such small orchestrations and no drums. I was afraid that adding drums, more strings, and more electric guitar would take away the chamber feel of the sound, but on the contrary, it actually enhanced it. Second of all, they chose two great singers who were able to sing most of the score live, and I have to give props to Anna Kendrick, who is probably the best Cathy I have seen and heard. Also, props for not cutting a single musical number, and they didn't have to because the show was an hour and a half to begin with.Now for everything else. The new dialog between the songs hardly added anything to the film. I'm mainly concerned with Cathy's dialog during the Shmuel Song. Also, in the play, every song Cathy sang took place when she was going backwards, but a few parts of her songs, mainly "When You Come Home..." and the final part of "Climbing Uphill", seemed to take place in chronological order. Also, that whole fantasy sequence in Shiksa Goddess with all of Jaimie's Jewish girlfriends was way too unnecessary, as was that brief dance scene during "Moving Too Fast".Other than those things, I thought it was very well done.
You know, the one negative review I read here was that Anna Kendrick was awful. I would like to end those rumors now and say that only in the first song does she kinda suck. Even then it was beautifully acted: just painful to listen to. The only other reason I had to dock a star is that if you don't already know the general premise she tells it backwards, he tells it forwards , you're screwed. There isn't a more eloquent way to put that. Besides that, this movie is perfect. Miss Kendrick has a very sweet voice that she usually knows how to use well, and Jeremy Jordan has one of <more>
the most beautiful tenors in the universe. They are both amazing actors, and they let it show. Composer Jason Robert Brown has given us this artwork of a score with whip smart lyrics to match. They take these songs and do what they can't do on stage, mostly to a hilarious effect. As long as you only know to mute the TV during "Still Hurting" maybe even put Sherie Rene Scott's version on instead? and the general premise, you're in for a great show.
Full disclosure: I didn't see the play the play before I saw this movie at the Toronto Film Festival. However, there were MANY fans of the play in the audience, and judging from the reaction and the questions and comments directed to director John LaGravenese and Jeremy Jordan !!! who came out after the film finished, they really enjoyed. I also looked up about the play and watched several videos of a few different versions of the play. Also for those who do really love the play and are unsure about how this movie is going to turn out, know 2 things in advance: 1 For the most part, <more>
Cathy and Jamie sing with the each other, and we are shown the opposite character's expressions and reactions. I think this was a good decision, and I think it worked out really well 2 LaGravenese stated that the movie is based essentially copied from the off-Broadway revival directed by writer James Robert Brown. So there are some changes from the previous off-Broadway production with Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott However, all in all, I really enjoyed this movie. Both Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan are wonderful as Cathy and Jamie. Their story was easy to relate to and sympathetic. I also found the concept of the opposing timelines very interesting, and although it's a bit hard to explain to someone who doesn't know it, I never felt lost or confused with the timelines. I felt, however, with Cathy starting the movie with song "Still Hurting", it made me side with her slightly more than I did with Jamie. But I liked the majority of the songs, although there were a few that slowed the pace too much, like "Part of That". My favorite performance was "Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You"- I particularly liked the staging of it. If you enjoy an intriguing story being told through song with an interesting concept,I highly recommend The Last Five Years.
A lovely, rich, utterly human gem of a musical about life, love and loss. (by shawneofthedead)
It's hard to imagine being in the marketing department for The Last Five Years. Apart from its delightfully photogenic co-stars, nothing about this film is an easy sell. There's a love story, sure, with occasional sides of romance and comedy. But it's also laced through with more than its fair share of darkness and misery. The plot is deliberately non-linear, a messy stew of time and space that can be frustrating to casual viewers. Also, everybody sings. All. The. Time. It's a conundrum, alright. The final decision - to play up the rom and the com - doesn't do justice to <more>
Richard LaGravenese's rich, dark and quite brilliant film about love, loss, and everything in between.It's difficult even to summarise the plot of the film, because its unusual structure is very much part of its narrative. We open on Cathy Anna Kendrick , a woman Still Hurting by the end of her once happy marriage. The focus then switches to Jamie Jeremy Jordan , a young man newly and deeply in love with Cathy. The rest of the film proceeds in that fashion: Cathy's side of the story unfolds backwards, from heartbreak to happiness, while Jamie's does the opposite. They meet, quite literally, in the middle, when the couple marry, promising each other The Next Ten Minutes - and more - of their lives.These aren't really spoilers for the film, at least not in any important way. In truth, it doesn't matter if audiences know how the story ends. The joy of The Last Five Years is in the journey. No one is allowed to simply sit still and wait for the adorable leads to meet cute and stay happy; no, anyone watching this film will have to work to really appreciate it. At every moment, as Cathy and Jamie's lives, stories and songs intersect or not , viewers must unravel the jumbled complexities of their five years together - the love, lust, and loss that comes when romance fades into relationship, with all the attendant hopes and disappointments of her failure as an actress and his success as a novelist.Originally a musical crafted for a tiny stage, with just two actors singing their hearts out, The Last Five Years is tough to get right. Part of the point of Jason Robert Brown's rich, complex score and lyrics is that the two leads hardly ever share a song - they're each telling their side of the story, after all. As a result, it's possible to completely misjudge and lose sight of the love that underlies all the heartaches that start to build up. Fortunately, LaGravenese handles this delicately and very well - he peppers his film with new bursts of dialogue that add depth to both characters and the connection they share.More importantly, he allows Cathy and Jamie's relationship to really take flight, even though the structure of the musical effectively compels them to fall in and out of love with every other song. One of the most offbeat numbers in the entire film, The Schmuel Song, can easily come off as an inconsequential ditty about a dude - that would be Schmuel - who makes dresses and talks to clocks. But LaGravenese grounds it firmly in Jamie's unwavering love for Cathy at that point in their relationship. It's the most deeply romantic thing he could possibly do for her when she feels worthless as a person and an actress: write her a story to give her hope. LaGravenese imbues most of the other songs with much of this same emotional weight, making sure that, even when things go off the rails, it's impossible to forget how much Cathy and Jamie truly do or did love each other.There are a couple of songs that make a more awkward transition from stage to screen - Cathy Skyping with Jamie about her dire theatrical experiences in A Summer In Ohio feels a little fluffy and clumsy, and there's a perverse poetry that doesn't quite work in Jamie's confessional number, Nobody Needs To Know. The film can occasionally feel like a string of music videos, some better staged than others. But all is forgiven by the sublime final number, which makes fantastic use of the medium of film to create a thoroughly wrenching, emotionally powerful blend of hope and heartbreak.The Last Five Years benefits enormously from the talent, charm and chemistry of its two leads, which help the film ride through its rougher spots. Jordan, a Tony-nominated stage actor, tears into his first lead role with plenty of enthusiasm. It goes without saying that he sounds wonderful, of course, but he hits the emotional notes of his character as well as the literal ones. He makes Jamie's love for Cathy thoroughly real and tangible, even in a song that's at least half about emotional manipulation If I Didn't Believe In You . More impressively, he manages to lend a little existential terror to Jamie's less savoury decisions.Kendrick, meanwhile, is fantastic as Cathy. Her vocal range isn't as powerful as some actresses who have played the part on stage, but she sounds beautiful, pulling off some impressive riffs that are quite uniquely her own. Better yet, she acts the part with so much conviction that Cathy's heartbreak becomes the audience's own. She plays wistful A Part Of That and hopeful I Can Do Better Than That remarkably well, whilst never forgetting to dig deep into a character who finds herself living in the shadow of her increasingly indifferent husband.If you're looking for a sweet and uncomplicated romantic comedy, you should probably steer clear of The Last Five Years. This is an uncompromising experience: a musical as deep and complex as the relationship it depicts. By and large, LaGravenese does justice to Brown's wise, witty songs, crafting a tender, smart film that - in its own messy, troubled way - doubles as a metaphor for life and love.
Great Fixation for Fans in the Broadway Universe (by mrturk182)
Can a movie-musical feel so compelling and so complicated at the same time? It can when it features Anna Kendrick. Based off a musical written by Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years tells the story of a five-year relationship of Jamie Wellerstein Jeremy Jordan and Cathy Hiatt Kendrick . Both sides of the story are told, with Cathy's going from end to beginning and Jamie's going from beginning to end. The movie's script is nearly filled up with songs, and only few breaks for dialogue take place. Sometimes, the songs are extremely corny and redundant, but they do fit into the <more>
story. The main thing about this film is that it feels more like a musical than a movie, which can be its biggest downside. However, there have been musical adaptations that got away with that method before, and this use long tracking shots to make it all fair game. The best way to appreciate this film is to have seen a prior production of The Last Five Years or to have seen your fair share of good movie-musicals already. If not, then you'll probably have a hard time watching this movie. However, Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan are a perfect combination to have sell this movie, and with the compelling approaches that The Last Five Years takes, it's a movie-musical that does justice to the source material.Score: 84/100Recommendation: Movie-musical buffs and fans of Anna Kendrick.