Starting Out in the Evening

(2007) *** Pg-13
111 min. Roadside Attractions. Director: Andrew Wagner. Cast: Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose, Lili Taylor, Adrian Lester, Michael Cumpsty.
Frank Langella stars as a New York City-based novelist in Andrew Wagner's film Starting Out in the Evening, based on a novel by Brian Morton. Langella plays Leonard Schiller, who finds himself warily flattered by the attentions of a grad student (Lauren Ambrose) intent on writing her thesis about him. When she also flirts with romance with the older man, her maneuvering puts Schiller's daughter (Lili Taylor) on guard. She has her own issues with dad, the men in her life, and her loudly ticking biological clock. Wagner proceeds simply and effectively, letting the characters slowly reveal their motivations and win over our affections while dealing with issues of old age and emotional politics within families and romantic relationships.
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