Mr Morgan's Last Love, film review: Michael Caine combines charm, self-pity and anger

(12a) Sandra Nettelbeck, 116 mins Starring: Michael Caine, Clémence Poé
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The Independent Culture

Michael Caine is always worth watching. He gives a typically rich and understated performance as a retired American philosophy professor.

Mr Morgan doesn't speak a word of French but still lives in Paris because it reminds him of his beloved late wife (Jane Alexander), who appears, ghost-like, from time to time. He's grief-stricken and a bit of a curmudgeon, at least until he meets beautiful young cha- cha teacher Pauline (Clémence Poésy). Soon, he is hoofing away with all the other pensioners at her dance school.

His grown-up children (Gillian Anderson and Justin Kirk), whom he has long neglected, are suspicious of his new infatuation. Adapted from Françoise Dorner's novel La Douceur Assassine, the film is a little too soft-centred to do justice to its own themes of bereavement, jealousy and family breakdown.

Caine's American accent doesn't sound entirely natural but he is such a consummate screen actor that this hardly matters. His character here combines charm, self-pity, surliness and anger. The pity is that Sandra Nettelbeck didn't push him harder or take a tougher, less sentimental approach to her material.