Coming to theatres from director/writers Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland and Samuel Goldwyn Films comes the tale of THE LAST ROBIN HOOD.
This film tells the story of Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning), a girl who is a dancer at Warner Brothers in 1957. Florence (Susan Sarandon) is an overly dedicated mother trying everything to make Beverly famous.
While on the lot, Beverly comes to the attention of Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline). Introducing himself, he turns on the charm taking Beverly to dinner and ending the evening at his home. An evening that doesn’t bode well for her.
Errol tells Beverly that she is everything to him and soon discovers that she is not 18 as her birth certificate says. In fact, Beverly is only 15 as Florence and Errol discuss her future by keeping it all a secret.
Quickly Beverly becomes Errol’s companion and fly’s her to New York convincing Florence to be the chaperone. All too quickly Beverly travels with Errol leaving Florence behind to fend for herself.
When Flynn passes, the publicity becomes more than Beverly can bear but mother Florence has other plans. Fighting for her daughters rights in Flynn’s will and knowing there is no more money drives her to do a tell-all book.
It is a tale of Hollywood.
FINAL WORD: Fanning as Beverly is the perfect age to play this role. She may be 20 but has the wide eyed innocent look needed. Fanning also has the difficulty of playing against two seasoned actors but makes it look easy. This couldn’t have been an easy role and it reminded me a bit of Jessica Lange in FRANCIS FARMER.
Kline as Flynn has the uncanny look of Flynn. Having the history in Hollywood with young women, it is almost uncomfortable to watch Kline. Isn’t that the point though? What an age it was then where no one said anything compared to now where it takes one txt, one Facebook post, one Twitter posting or Instagram pic to get the word out.
Sarandon as Florence is just another woman who lived vicariously through her daughter. Not happy with her own life she pushes Beverly. Pretending to be unaware of what was going on between Beverly and Flynn; Sarandon does a good job of trying to cover things up. That is until it all went bust. Sarandon’s portrayal is spot on good.
Other cast include: Sean Flynn as Grip, Max Casella as Stanley Kubrick, Bryan Batt as Orry Kelly, Matt Kane as Ronnie Shedlo, Patrick St. Esprit as Herb Aadland, Ben Winchell as Jack, Jane McNeill as Cynthia Gould and Jason Davis as Tedd Thomey.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE LAST ROBIN HOOD three tubs of popcorn out of five. The story takes off out of the gate and doesn’t stop much to breathe in between. Although this was a story about Flynn and Beverly, I couldn’t help but feel it was more a story about Florence.
Could the film have been grittier? Yes. Was there a way to do it without becoming icky creepy? I’m not sure. Making a film about this subject, no matter if it is telling a story about Hollywood in the 50’s, is always touchy. I will be interesting to see if the performances will bring audiences.
The cinematography is amazing that’s for sure. The costuming is brilliantly done which always gives a period piece authenticity.
In the end – it’s a tale about the desire for fame and the price that’s paid.