"By the End of Time"
Directed by Woody Allen
Written by Woody Allen
Scarlett Johansson as Michelle Singer
Ethan Hawke as Les McClure
Gabrielle Union as Marie Robbins
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Allan Davis
Bob Hoskins as Mr. Huntington
Tagline: "Love Lives Forever No Matter the Distance"
Synopsis: Michelle Singer (Johansson) is the reigning employee of the year at Huntington Investment, one of the top trading companies in New York. She has always been the "do-everything" worker that Mr. Huntington (Hoskins) loves. Unfortunately, Michelle's routine was thrown off with the unexpected death of her father. Despite her best friend's, Marie Robbins (Union), pleas to take time off work, Michelle returns to work. She cannot seem to focus and her work reflects it. Mr. Huntington offers her a grievance leave and a trip for two to Kenya to go on a safari. Michelle decides to take Marie. The dynamic two, who refer to themselves as M&M, travel to Kenya to go on their safari journey. Michelle's group consists of herself, Marie, and friends Les McClure (Hawke) and Allan Davis (Hoffman), both bar chefs from Miami. Les quickly catches Michelle's eye and the two immediately form a deep connection that has Marie envious. Michelle and Les spend most of their free time together leaving Marie and Allan in the dust. Allan is excited for his friend to finally find love, but Marie feels her best friend has forgot her. While walking through a Kenyan village one day, Les reveals to Michelle that he dreams of opening a restaurant in New York with Allen. As the week long journey comes to a close, Michelle and Marie share an emotional conversation where they discuss their friendship and Michelle's feelings for Les. Before the two groups of friends leave for home, Les tells Michelle he has never met anyone as special as her. The two return to their daily life hoping that one day their paths may cross again.
What the Press would say:
Woody Allen's "By the End of Time" is an emotional and sincere love story that captivates the audience from start to finish. Allen's direction is one of the main reasons the film is a success. He brilliantly uses the African landscape to its full potential. The cinematography is simply gorgeous. Allen does not make it a sappy chick flick or a simple tale with no heart. It is the perfect balance of romance and heart. Scarlett Johansson is a revelation as Michelle Singer. She shows an array of emotion that portrays Michelle with precision. It is probably Johansson's best performance to date and definitely one of the best of the year. Ethan Hawke does a fantastic job as Michelle's love interest, Les. Hawke does nothing amazing or spectacular, but he is very good across the board. Les has always been in the dating scene, but has never found the right someone and Hawke portrays that magnificently. In the supporting roles, Gabrielle Union shows that she does indeed have some acting ability. Is it a great performance? No, but it is her best role to date. Union has been waiting for a breakout role and this very much could be it. Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent as Allan Davis. He gives a performance that is truly supporting. Hoffman's character is there to expand on Ethan Hawke's performance and Hoffman steps up to the plate. It is honestly the best supporting role of the year and I feel he should be rewarded for it. Overall, "By the End of Time" is an engrossing tale of true love and how a chance encounter can affect a live time.
Best Picture (M/C)
Best Director (Woody Allen)
Best Actress (Scarlett Johansson)
Best Actor (Ethan Hawke)
Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Best Original Screenplay