TIFF13 Review: The Last of Robin Hood (2013)
Swashbuckling matinee idol Errol Flynn was a cad, or a “walking penis” as a character in The Last of Robin Hood notes. So when he expired at the age of 50 in the tender arms of a 17-year-old starlet it perhaps was not surprising. It was, however, plenty salacious and the Hollywood press had a field day. Enter this film, from co-directors Richard Galtzer and Wash Westmoreland.
Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning) was 15-year-old virgin when Flynn (Kevin Kline) plucked her off a studio sound stage. Beverly had been pushed into this business of show by her aggressive stage mom Florence (Susan Sarandon), a woman with a peg leg and dashed dreams. What follows in The Last of Robin Hood, and indeed what followed in real life, is a seedy tale of a mother complicit in the sexual exploitation of her teenage daughter, all in the name of stardom.
The film offers a sort of agnostic, balanced view of the events, lingering on the motivations of the involved parties. Flo of course wanted her daughters name in lights and so went along with Flynn’s plan to “hide in plain sight” by accompanying Beverly and Flynn at all times. Flynn, aging and waning in popularity, craved the adulation only a naive teenager could give him (plus, of course, a certain – um – tactile pleasure). And Beverly relished the attention lavished on her by Flynn, plus the freedom from her overbearing mother. If only Flynn had filed that will properly!
Despite an unavoidable yuck factor to the whole affair, The Last of Robin Hood is a fun and stylish flick, full of Old Hollywood glamour porn. The performances from the three principles are pretty superb, with extra kudos awarded to Kline for capturing both the overwhelming charm of Flynn the action hero, coupled with the sad desperation of Flynn the old letch. If you care about his era of Hollywood history or Errol Flynn, it’s definitely one to see.
Screening Times for The Last of Robin Hood
Friday September 6 Isabel Bader Theatre 9:45 PM
Saturday September 7 Scotiabank 14 11:45 AM
Friday September 13 Scotiabank 14 6:15 PM
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