The City of Your Final Destination will be three time Academy Award nominated director James Ivory’s (The Remains of the Day, A Room with a View, Howards End) 23rd collaboration with two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Based on the novel by Peter Cameron, the film stars Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins, three-time Academy Award nominee Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai, Merchant Ivory’s The White Countess), Charlotte Gainsbourg (The Science of Sleep, The Golden Door, Antichrist), Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall), Academy Award winner Norma Aleandro, and Omar Metwally (Munich). Filming the movie is six-time Goya-winning Spanish cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe (Talk to Her, The Others, The Sea Inside, and Woody Allen’s Vicki Christina Barcelona). The movie will also feature costume design and production design by longtime Merchant Ivory collaborators Carol Ramsey and Andrew Sanders, respectively; and a score by Academy Award winner Jorge Drexler.
Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Cameron, the protagonist of The City of Your Final Destination is Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally), an Iranian-born graduate student at the University of Colorado, whose financial aid for a fellowship is contingent on writing an authorized biography of the deceased Latin American author Jules Gund. Shortly into the first semester of the fellowship, Gund’s estate unexpectedly denies Omar authorization. Omar's aggressively supportive girlfriend Deirdre urges him to travel to Uruguay and petition the executors to change their minds.
Omar follows this advice and is instantly received into a hornet’s nest of intrigues and idiosyncrasies. The Gund “family,” living together on the author’s isolated and decaying estate, includes Gund’s widow, Caroline (Laura Linney); his mistress, Arden (Charlotte Gainsbourg); Arden’s young daughter, Portia; Gund’s brother, Adam (Anthony Hopkins), and Adam’s partner, Pete (Hiroyuki Sanada). Omar’s unannounced arrival upsets their fragile co-existence and causes all to question their own circumstances and fates, which in turn leads Omar himself to question to what degree, if any, he has been the author of his own existence up until now.
The City of Your Final Destination is a finely-tuned comedy of modern manners from which emerges that rarest of things: a film romance that is actually romantic; it is, to quote The New York Times review of Cameron’s novel, a “pungent, airy, grave, and transporting commedia dell’arte [that] subtly, affectingly, erotically traces the beginning, the hesitations, the advances of a love affair.”
How we fall in love, how we find a home, and how we come to know, or change, ourselves are all questions that The City of Your Final Destination deftly explores in this warm and engaging work.
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