- 1 hr 53 min
Afterglow is a 1997 romantic drama directed by Canadian director Alan Rudolph. The movie follows the lives of two couples living in Montreal: the Lucky Man (Nick Nolte), a former home repair show host who finds himself in dire straits with his producing partner/building contractor, and the Happy Housewife (Julie Christie), a former actress who now keeps house for her husband, a wealthy businessman. The other couple is a younger duo, Jeffrey (Jonny Lee Miller), a security guard who dreams of becoming an actor and his wife Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle), an ambitious career woman who never seems satisfied.
The Lucky Man and the Happy Housewife's relationship takes center stage in the film. When Lucky breaks his foot in a church, the Happy Housewife offers him a place to stay while he heals. While there, their conversations reveal that they share a deep and somewhat tormented passion that has always been brewing between them. These conversations, along with scenes from their past, further add to the complicated nature of their relationship. Meanwhile, the younger couple is also dealing with their own issues. Marianne, who is pregnant, is experiencing anxiety and paranoia, which puts a strain on their relationship.
What follows is a poignant exploration of love and infidelity, as both couples must come to terms with their own emotions and desires. The Lucky Man and the Happy Housewife's relationship is particularly complicated, as they are both married and have families of their own but cannot seem to stay away from each other. On the other hand, Jeffrey and Marianne's relationship is marked by the challenges of careers, ambition, and pregnancy, as they try to navigate the rocky terrain of their own insecurities and desires.
At the core of Afterglow is a complex examination of love and relationships, and the messy nature of human desire. Each character is dealing with their own disappointments, whether it be the demise of a career, the inability to start a family or the realization that they have lost their passion for their spouse. The film is also marked by themes of loneliness and the search for connection, as the characters are all struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
The performances in Afterglow are all exceptional, particularly those of Nick Nolte and Julie Christie. Nolte brings depth and complexity to the Lucky Man, a character who is both charming and deeply flawed. Christie, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, is magnetic as the Happy Housewife, whose search for passion and connection is palpable. Similarly, Lara Flynn Boyle and Jonny Lee Miller bring vulnerability and nuance to their roles, making the couples' relationships feel genuine and relatable.
In terms of direction, Alan Rudolph creates a moody and atmospheric film, with a strong emphasis on style and visuals. The film's cinematography is stunning, with the city of Montreal serving as a fitting backdrop for the characters' search for connection and love. The film's score, which features various jazz and classical pieces, further adds to its dreamlike quality.
Overall, Afterglow is a moving and thought-provoking film, featuring stellar performances and beautiful visuals. It is a nuanced exploration of relationships and human desire, and a reminder that love is often messy and complicated. Despite its melancholic tone, the film ultimately leaves the audience with a sense of hope and possibility, as the characters begin to let go of their past mistakes and move towards a brighter future.
Afterglow is a 1997 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 68.