Tag Archives: The Age of Adaline

The Age Of Adaline

The Age Of Adaline shouldn’t work as well as it does or be as great as it is, but there you go. What really holds it together are two spectacular, well thought out performances from Blake Lively and Harrison Ford, who take material that could have come across as hokey and do something really special with it. The lush, garden themed cinematography by David Lanzenburg doesn’t hurt either. Adaline Bowman (Lively) isn’t your average one hundred year old woman. Due to some quasi-cosmic rift in reality, she has been stuck at the age of 29 for going on 80 years, and has amassed both a wealth of worldly knowledge and a charismatic gravitas one might imagine would accompany such an odd life path. When she meets and reluctantly falls for handsome Ellis (Game Of Thrones’s Michael Huisman), it’s a predicament as love has never seemed to really work out, given her condition. When she meets his parents (Ford and Kathy Baker) things get downright weird; decades ago, Ford and Adaline were lovers and the aghast look on his face when he sees her waltz in not only with his son but not a day older than he remembers, is truly something to see. Speaking of aghast, the guy they got to play young Harrison Ford in flashbacks is so uncannily similar to the actor in look and voice that I feel like the director just stole a time machine from the government for the film. It’s kind of like the world’s weirdest love triangle built upon a fantasy concept that’s thrown in from hard left field, and as ridiculous as it all sounds, it’s actually quite the subdued, affecting experience. Her name should be Blake Lovely because she’s just that, always a force of radiance in any role she takes (even as the Boston gutter slut in Ben Affleck’s The Town, an angelic vibe snuck through the smeared eye makeup and hoop earrings), she gives Adaline a dignified independence and occupies every second of frame with the character. This has to be one of Harrison Ford’s finest hours too, ditching the smirky roguish charm and going straight for the heart in a turn that’s both vulnerable and rooted in emotion. Ellen Burstyn does fine work too as Adaline’s daughter, now looking freakishly older than her. The story has none of the silliness you’d expect upon reading a synopsis, and if anything is more down to earth than most romantic films thanks to Lively and Ford, as well as the world’s gravest narration from Hugh Ross. The San Francisco setting is actually a cleverly disguised Vancouver, but plays a quaint role in the setting too. This one is a treat.

-Nate Hill

Advertisements

LEE TOLAND KRIEGER’S THE AGE OF ADALINE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

2

Lee Toland Krieger’s The Age of Adaline is gorgeous looking nonsense, a sentimental and effective sci-fi romance that is entertaining in the moment, and gone the next. Shot in Fincher-vision with lots of piss-yellows and varying shades of brown and black, the film is eye-candy to the extreme, with beautiful and evocative production design by Claude Paré, and a terrific sense of how to fully utilize the 2.35:1 frame by cinematographer David Lanzenberg, who also photographed the exceedingly stylish thriller The Signal. The kooky story, which is narrated by Hugh Ross(!), involves a car accident and lightning strike that somehow prevents the well-dressed and extremely attractive Blake Lively from ever aging. So she spends the decades mostly alone, births a daughter, and never allows herself to fall in love (well, only a couple of times…). Throughout the years, she’s forced to repeatedly move in an effort to keep her strange secret hidden from anyone who she comes into contact with, only allowing the information to pass to her only child, played as a grown up by Ellen Burstyn. Harrison Ford has some strong scenes as one of her old romantic entanglements as he crosses paths with her 40 years later in a wonderful bit of contrived scripting. But to complain about the artificiality of this movie is pointless; it’s built on a massive suspension of disbelief that you have to accept right from the start. It’s a nice film, nothing spectacular by any means, but surprising in its level of artistic elegance and attention to visual detail.

1