Review: The Last Movie Star

On Demand & Digital Download: The Last Movie Star (2017)

Writer/Director Adam Rifkin has crafted a heartfelt, emotional and poignant movie that had me in its grip for every second of its wonderful 90+ minute running time, and will most definitely be in my top 10 movies of 2018…if not of all time!

Unfolding as almost a semi-autobiographical drama/comedy, The Last Movie Star sees actor Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) old, alone, and reflecting on his bygone glory years as one of the biggest cinematic box office draws on the planet.

When a film festival contacts him wanting him to appear at a gala event dedicated to his work and present him with a lifetime achievement award, his ego begins to inflate as thoughts of being adored by the masses once again fuels his emotions.

However, the festival is far from what he thought it was and it is only through the intervention of the festival owners sister; Lil (Ariel Winter), that stops Vic from returning home.

It is at this point that Rik and Lil take a journey of discovery together, where memories, ego, passion, pain, happiness and tears all come to the fore and where both of them find their true selves.

The Last Movie Star is not just a story of faded glories. It is a story filled with things that we can all relate to: getting old, the loss of loved ones, the fear of being alone, finding true friendship, and much more.

The entire cast is absolutely superb, but it is Burt Reynolds who gives one of his best ever performances and who draws every ounce of empathy from you, despite how curmudgeonly his character can get.

Reynolds, known not only as an actor with a fantastic body of work, but also as a worldwide sex symbol (surely you’ve all seen THAT 1972 Cosmopolitan photo!?), plays with all of these preconceived notions about him as he revisits himself in past movies.

I’ll refrain from spoiling the surprises of what movies ‘old Burt/Rik’ visits ‘young Burt/Rik’ onscreen, but be assured that you’ll have a huge smile on your face as each new movie clip appears.

Smiling is something that I did a lot while watching The Last Movie Star, as well as laughing out loud and also wiping away the occasional tear too. It takes you on an emotional journey with Rik that you can’t help but be swept along with and feel everything that he does too.

It’s not often that a movie appears and hits me as hard emotionally as The Last Movie Star. The previous one to do this was A Man Called Ove; which also has a similar theme of ageing, love and loss. Maybe it’s me getting older!?

Despite your age however, The Last Movie Star is an unmissable movie and one that is just as powerful on repeated viewings.

Highly recommended.

The Last Movie Star will be released On Demand and Digital Download on 20th August 2018.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from an online screening link kindly supplied by Aim Publicity for Second Sight Films.