The Age of Adaline

"Good"

The Age of Adaline Review


Like Benjamin Button, this drama plays around with the human lifespan, is slickly produced and feels far too serious for its own good. There's a sweeping romanticism to the premise, but it's ultimately so sentimental that it becomes rather corny. Fans of Nicholas Sparks-style movies will adore every golden-hued moment and yearning glance. More cynical viewers will enjoy the premise and performances, but will find the tidal wave of plot twists too yucky to bear.

In present-day San Francisco, Adaline (Blake Lively) is preparing to change identities as she does every decade or so. She's been 29 since a fateful accident in 1933 stopped her ageing process, due to a convergence of random factors at the time of a car crash, and she doesn't want to arouse suspicion. The only person who knows her secret is her daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn), who after all this time now introduces herself as Adaline's grandmother. Then the dashing Ellis (Michiel Huisman) tenaciously starts pursuing Adaline, and Flemming encourages her to stop running. So she decides to let herself live for a change, travelling with Ellis for a weekend to meet his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker). But fate has a few more surprises in store.

The story is told by an omniscient narrator (Hugh Ross) and camerawork that often stares down from a godlike point of view, as if Adaline has no say in her own story. And without a sense of humour or irony, it's tricky for a film audience to root for her. The story is engaging, and it's enjoyable to watch the events unfold, but the moment the plot loudly clanks into gear the film becomes difficult to like. Revelations and coincidences pile on top of each other in the story's final act, making everything both achingly emotional and suspiciously convenient.

Through it all, Lively gives a remarkably poised performance as an ageing woman in a young body, revealing Adaline's old soul through the way she talks and moves. This gives the film a vivid sense of the pain she has endured over the decades, afraid to start a lasting relationship. Lively's chemistry with Burstyn is terrific, and she also develops a spark of sweetly lusty attraction with Huisman. But without even a hint of a witty edge, the film feels like an oddly staid cautionary tale about the hazards of wishing for immortality. And the simplistic conclusion to the story essentially eliminates any chance for a more complex exploration of either human connections or the deeper meaning of life and death.


The Age of Adaline Trailer

 



The Age of Adaline

Facts and Figures

Genre: Romance

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th April 2015

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Lionsgate

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lee Toland Krieger

Starring: as Adaline Bowman, as Ellis Jones, as William Jones, as Flemming, as Kathy Jones, as Kiki, as Regan, Hugh Ross as Narrator, as Tony, as Cab Driver, Anjali Jay as Cora, as Kenneth, Peter J. Gray as Clarence James Prescott, Izabel Pearce as Flemming (Age 5), Cate Richardson as Flemming (Age 20), Jane Craven as Miriam, Noel Johansen as 1950s Policeman, Aaron Craven as 1950s FBI Agent, Primo Allon as 1940s Officer #1, Darren Dolynski as 1940s Officer #2, Chris William Martin as Dale Davenport, as New Year's Eve Stranger, Shaker Paleja as Hotel Doorman, Daniel Bacon as Boat Tunnel Guide, Barclay Hope as Financial Advisor, Robert Moloney as 1950s Financial Advisor, Dee Jay Jackson as 1960s Cab Driver, Lane Edwards as Veterinarian, Toby Levins as Ellis Apartment Super, as Young William Jones, Keith McCafferty as 1960s Hippie Photographer, Serge Houde as Good Samaritan, Alison Wandzura as Paramedic #1, Demord Dann as Paramedic #2, Grace Chin as E.R. Doctor

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