Assumed accents and mixed language films are a precarious undertaking. Whilst some actors can pull it off superbly there’s always the worry that things will descend into a Far and Away style mess. In Mr Morgan’s Last Love, Michael Caine struggles with an American accent which all too often drops out or goes over the top. Clémence Poésy, on the other hand, has perfect English. Set in Paris, the film is based on the novel La Douceur Assassine by Francoise Dorner; the main protagonist transplanted into an American.
Matthew Morgan (Caine) is a retired American widower living in Paris. Struggling to find a meaning to life after the loss of his wife (Jane Alexander). His son Miles (Justin Kirk) and daughter Karen (Gillian Anderson) have their own families back in America and are increasingly distant. He meets Pauline (Poésy) on a bus and she sees something familiar in him. The pair form a friendship, both lost souls looking for companionship. When Miles arrives in Paris he throws a spanner in the works, leading to all their lives being radically changed.
Once you get used to Caine’s accent, Mr Morgan’s Lost Love is a really touching and immersive drama about family and isolation. There are outstanding performances all round but Clémence Poésy’s in particular stands out. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of her in English-language films. She has a naturally endearing charisma and the ability to perfectly portray reactions authentically. It’s a shame Mr Morgan’s Last Love didn’t get a fair run in cinemas as it deserves to be better known than it is.
Mr Morgan’s Last Love is released on DVD by Arrow Films on September 1.