In the Gloaming [VHS]

 
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Product Description

Original produced for HBO, this hour-long drama marks the emotionally stressful turning point for a family nearly torn apart by the tragedy of AIDS. It also marked a turning point for actor Christopher Reeve, making an acclaimed directorial debut following the horse-riding accident that left him a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. This moving drama proved that Reeve could succeed in his second career, drawing upon his own experience to elicit fine performances from his distinguished cast. Robert Sean Leonard plays a gay man in his early 20s who returns to the home of his affluent parents in upstate New York, dying from AIDS and wishing to spend his final months with his family. While his mother (Glenn Close) responds with care and compassion with the help of a live-in nurse (Whoopi Goldberg), his father (David Strathairn) is unable to accept his son's sexual orientation, much less his inevitable death. His sister (Bridget Fonda) is equally confused and detached from the family, and this emotionally wrenching situation generates a slow and painful change in the dynamics of this dysfunctional family. Similar in theme and quality to Ordinary People, this thoughtfully written and directed film packs more honesty and emotion into 62 minutes than most dramas twice that length. It's a showcase for superior talent and a remarkable achievement for everyone involved. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • A Moving, Intimate Film
    This is a film which is inspired, in part, by "Ordinary People." Danny (Robert Sean Leonard), a young journalist, comes home and moves back in with his parents when he's diagnosed with AIDS. This film deals with he and his family's attempts to come to terms with the crisis they face and his impending death. The family is generally a good, loving family, but with communication problems. His mother (Glenn Close)is loving and compassionate, though tentative. It's clear that she and her son have always been close. His father (David Straithorn) wants to do the right thing, but doesn't quite know how to do it or face the inevitible. His sister (Bridget Fonda) is polite, but resentful and cold, Yet her behavior is understandable: her brother appears to have always been her mother's favorite. They are helped by a wise, supportive nurse (Whoppi Goldberg). Nothing that is said or happens is out of the ordinary, but it's so superbly written and acted, you won't be able to stop watching. ...more info
  • A GREAT MOVIE THAT WAS DIRECTED BY AM INSPIRATIONAL DIRECTOR
    JUST WHEN PEOPLE THOUGHT CHRIS REEVE WAS DONE AFTER HIS SERIOUS ACCIDENT HE CAME BACK STRONGER THAN EVER!! INSTEAD OF STARRING IN THE MOVIE HE WAS THE ONE IN CHARGE! IN THE GLOAMING IS ABOUT A YOUNG MAN WHO HAS AIDS AND LEAVES HIS SOLE MATE TO LIVE OUT HIS FINAL DAYS WITH HIS PARENTS.THE CAST LIST HAS ALOT OF STAR POWER ALSO, CAST MEMBERS INCLUDE WHOOPI GOLDBERG, DAVD STATHERIN, GLENN CLOSE,WHOM NOT ONLY SHOWS OFF HER ACTING TALLENT , BUT ALSO SHOWS OFF HER MUSICAL TALLENT IN ONE OF THE MOST TOUCHING SCENES FROM THE FILM WHEN SHE SINGS DANNY BOY!!!! GOOD JOB MR REEVE'S ON YOUR DIRECTORIAL DEBUT, KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK....more info
  • Hauntingly evocative
    How would you feel if a younger member of your family were to come home... to die? This is the pivotal point of "In the gloaming." I especially liked Glen Close's able performance as the mother who tries to understand her dying son and tries to recapture, in those final days, a smidgen of their past. Various degrees of rejection and denial are interspersedly played by the other members of the family but through it all, there is a sense that there is much more to "living" than the simple act of existing. Haunting and beautiful....more info
  • I'm speechless...
    This is just one of those movies where you walk away not sure what to say. I caught it by accident on cable, and was mesmerized from the second it started. It's a great story about life, and death, and all we hold dear to us....more info
  • Transcendent Beauty
    "In the Gloaming"

    Transcendent Beauty

    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

    "In the Gloaming" is a private, quiet and gentle filmed directed by the late Christopher Reeve. It is gorgeous in its simplicity and has a great deal to say. Here is one of those films that are not soon forgotten.
    A son spends his last months at home, in a wheelchair, as he dies of AIDS. In doing so he helps his family come to terms with his life and e brings his parents to an understanding of those unsaid things that caused them to drift apart over the previous years. The movie is short but in its brevity it expresses the deep, gentle love that is revealed during tragedy.
    All of the action revolves around the family's domestic routines and intimate conversations between mother and son who bask in the gloaming or the last hour of sunlight. The mother is played by Glenn Close and she is brilliant. Leonard, the son, is beautiful in his delicacy and as he fades, we all fade a bit. The movie is about mother and son and everyone else in the film takes a backseat to this. At the end of the story, the secondary characters rise to take their places in the story but only at the end. We know that there are family complications, especially when a family member s dying. What is compelling is the stoic and reserved nature of the response of the characters to the gay son's health crisis.
    Whoopi Goldberg turns in a good performance as the nurse teaches the mother to care, physically, for her son and to interact with him. The death scene is heart breaking and it gives a beautiful symbolic representation of as one life ends, another is reborn.
    The exploration of the family over a four month period as the prodigal son ails and dies is touching to the point of hurt. Danny, the dying son, as well as the other family members has constructed illusions of perfection so they do not have to face the pain of their isolated and lonely lives together. Only Danny is aware how everyone feels beneath their self-deceptions. His presence jars them to shirk the pretense and they fall away just as quickly as Danny's body loses strength. The unpleasant reality emerges that the gay son has returned home to die.
    The family is "perfect", save Danny. He has brought shame ad a sense of disgrace to them with his sexuality. Yet he is the only one who has lived his life openly and honestly. As he transitions to death, what has made him an outcast becomes the most profound and greatest gift his family will ever receive. He taught them self-sacrifice, non-judgment and unconditional love.
    The title comes from the time when Danny and his mother share their lives with each other in open and candid ways. During the gloaming things move more slowly and G-d's face is visible. It is then that they heal and become whole.
    Even though the son has AIDS, the movie is not about AIDS at all. It is a movie about going home and about healing.
    This movie is Reeve's legacy to us and it is a beautiful legacy that he left. He moves us and our souls leading us into the family and its troubled relationship. He has wrapped himself in this movie and then tied it with a bow and gave it to us. It's a beautiful gift.
    ...more info
  • perspective
    I found this movie to be inspiring, hauntingly beautiful in thought and performance, writing and directing. A current day story that any of us might experience, and might not deal with as well as depicted here. The title song at the end is breathtaking, and I have been searching for it since seeing the film last year. Thought provoking and important. Well worth watching....more info
  • Sheer Brilliance
    I caught this by chance on HBO, and it was one of the best accidents that I have encountered. The correct words to describe this film fail me because it would be hard to give it the justice it deserves. Actions speak louder than words . . . I was in tears by the end of the film. That is how powerful it was and how it can truly touch someone from the emotions evoked by the wonderful acting to the relationships that develop between the characters to the music used that fuse perfectly with each scene. ...more info
  • Another HBO Excellent Production
    Based on the short story by the same name by Alice Elliott Dark that John Updike included in his collection of best short stories of the last century, no small achievement on the writer's part, IN THE GLOAMING is a near perfect movie about hard topics: missed opportunities, what happens to families who do not talk about important subjects, family dynamics that do not improve with time, the never-ending need to be accepted by your parents and homophobia-- in this instance in an upper middleclass family.

    In this 60 minute long HBO production-- the story is so sad that the viewer's tear ducts are about emptied out by the end of the movie-- Danny (Robert Sean Leonard) is a young man with AIDS who has come home from San Francisco to die. The details of the movie are not new. His story-- or at least parts of it-- is the same as that of literally thousands of young men in the United States under the cocktail became available in the mid-nineties that turned people's lives around within days. His lover Paul could not cope with Danny's diagnosis and bailed out. Danny's sister (Bridget Fonda) does not bring her young son to see Danny and tells her mother (Glenn Close) that she will not raise her son by getting too close to him as Close raised her son, therefore making sure that her son does not become a homosexual. Shouldn't this woman be told that we are fairly sure now that the world is not flat? Whoopi Goldberg as Danny's nurse exudes warmth and love. I suspect she is playing herself since she has been involved in the AIDS fight from the beginning. David Strathairn as Danny's father Martin is the saddest of characters. It is impossible for him to get inside Danny's head and heart so he plants tomatoes, plays golf, attempts to take his wife on a trip to Italy. No father should have to utter these words on the death of a child: "please tell me what my boy liked."

    Glenn Close (Janet) comes to grips with mistakes she has made in the past-- she never invited Paul and Danny to Thanksgiving, Danny's favorite holiday as she now learns ("I thought you were too busy with your own life")-- and never discussed anything about Danny's life in San Francisco. Now she wants to know: "Did you love and were you loved in return?" She admits under questioning from Danny that while she was once wildly in love with his father that marriage for her seems liked something you endure. One wonders if this marriage will survive after Danny's death.

    The title of this movie is so beautiful, the gloaming, that time at twilight between day and evening when the world is peaceful and beautiful. Danny and his mother spend many evenings in the yard in the gloaming, which is of course symbolic of Danny's own life as his days are numbered. The action takes places from August to November as the leaves turn and autumn turns the green to gold.

    Both the acting and directing get an A. Glenn Close stands out in a fine cast as the mother who learns from her past mistakes. She tears up about 15 minutes into the hour and her eyes glisten for most of the 45 minutes remaining. IN THE GLOAMING should serve as a cautionary tale to families, the closest and often most abused unit on earth, that whatever your differences are, that you talk about them and make peace with your family members in the precious little time you have on this earth. ...more info
  • Read the actual short story.
    Be sure to read the short story by Alice Elliott Dark this film is based on. The writing will draw you in, grab you, then leave you knowing you've just experienced a wonderful moment. The visuals are all there and far better than the film....more info
  • A True Emotional Masterpiece
    In the Gloaming is about a man dying of AIDS returning home to spend time with his family for presumably the last time. I'm sure most people know that it's coming, but the movie is still such a great emotional and dramatic ride that reflects on life and all of the greatest memories of it, and you will still cry when the time finally comes.

    One of my favorite movies, if you are looking for a good movie to cozy up with a box of tissues to, THIS is an A+ film. Reeve does a GREAT job as director. ...more info

 

 
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