Overture Film’s Last Chance Harvey and Twentieth Century Fox’s Marley & Me are the latest films to receive the prestigious Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award from Heartland Truly Moving PicturesTM, announced today by the organization’s President and CEO Jeffrey L. Sparks. From director/writer Joel Hopkins, Last Chance Harvey released in select theaters on December 25 and garnered Golden Globe nominations for both Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. In Marley & Me, a lovable yellow lab who may just be the worst dog in the world manages to bring out the best in the Grogan family.
Distributed by Overture Films and expanding into theaters nationwide on January 16, Last Chance Harvey follows New Yorker Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman), who’s on the verge of losing his dead-end job as a jingle writer. Harvey goes to London for a weekend to attend his daughter’s (Liane Balaban) wedding only to learn she has chosen to have her stepfather (James Brolin) walk her down the aisle instead of him. Doing his best to hide his devastation, he leaves the wedding before the reception in hopes of getting to the airport on time, but misses his plane anyway. When he calls his boss to explain, he is fired on the spot. Drowning his sorrows at the airport bar, Harvey strikes up a conversation with Kate (Emma Thompson), a slightly prickly, 40-something employee of the Office of National Statistics. Kate, whose life is limited to work, the occasional humiliating blind date and endless phone calls from her smothering mother (Eileen Atkins), is touched by Harvey, who finds himself energized by her intelligence and compassion. The growing connection between the pair inspires both as they unexpectedly transform one another’s lives.
“Quietly compelling and richly poignant, Joel Hopkins’ Last Chance Harvey may begin as the story of two strangers alone in the world, but it segues effortlessly into a portrait of love in its simplest form—unconditional,” said Sparks about the film and its message.
The number one movie at the box office over the holiday season, Marley & Me is based on the memoir by newspaper man John Grogan about the puppy he and his wife adopt as newlyweds at the beginning of their lives together. In no time at all, Marley grows into a 100-pound steamroller of unbridled energy that turns the Grogan home into a disaster area. He flunks obedience school, chews off dry-wall, takes a bite out of the sofa, overturns garbage cans, steals a Thanksgiving turkey, consumes pillows and flowers, drinks toilet water, and chases the UPS guy. Amidst the mayhem he generates through the years, Marley sees the Grogans through the ups and downs of family life, through job and home changes, and most of all, through the myriad challenges of a growing family. As John and Jenny come to realize, Marley – “the world’s worst dog” – somehow brings out the best in them.
Last Chance Harvey and Marley & Me are two of the first films to receive the Truly Moving Picture Award distinction in 2009. To view Heartland’s complete list of Truly Moving Pictures, visit www.TrulyMovingPictures.org.
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, a non-profit organization, seeks to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by expressing hope and emphasizing the best of the human spirit. Its flagship event, the Heartland Film Festival®, launched in 1991 and runs each October in Indianapolis, screening independent films from around the world. Each year, the Festival awards $200,000 in cash prizes and presents its Crystal Heart Awards to the top-judged submissions. Heartland has awarded more than $2 million to support filmmakers during the last 17 years. The organization’s Truly Moving Picture Award was created to honor films released theatrically that align with Heartland’s mission. By bestowing a watermark to honored films, the award allows studios and distributors to inform audiences of a film’s uplifting message and appeal. Heartland is also dedicated to its relationship with the National Collaboration for Youth and its expanding F.I.L.M., “Finding Inspiration in Literature & Movies,” Project. For more information, visit www.TrulyMovingPictures.org.
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