The Age of Adaline, movie review

Here is the blurb you get from Google when you type in the title of this movie:

Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has miraculously remained a youthful 29 years of age for nearly eight decades, never allowing herself to get close to anyone lest they discover her secret. However, a chance encounter with a charismatic philanthropist named Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reawakens Adaline’s long-suppressed passion for life and romance. When a weekend with Ellis’ parents threatens to expose the truth, Adaline makes a decision that changes her life forever.

BlakeLivelyI wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this movie, but it turned out to be a lovely story once treated with a bit of suspension of disbelief.  Set in San Francisco, Adaline’s history is shown in flashbacks.  She was born in 1908, married, had a daughter, Flemming, was widowed by an accident during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, and then, involved in a freak accident — explained in quasi-scientific terms — and has not aged a day since.  In the mid 1900s, while communists are being hunted down by the House Un-American Activities Committee, Adaline has attracted unwanted and unwarranted attention from the FBI because she can’t present her birth certificate (for obvious reasons).  So for almost 8 decades, Adaline has lived in fear, moving from place to place, obtaining new birth certificates and passports along the way, reinventing herself as she goes.  She and Flemming experienced a period of time when they appear to be more like sisters, but in the present, Adaline (now Jennifer according to her latest ID) appears to be the daughter in the relationship.  (Ellen Burstyn is perfectly cast as the older Flemming.)

Life has treated Jennifer kindly, for the most part, but it is a lonely existence and, suddenly, as Jennifer is planning a move to Oregon, her faithful dog, Breeze, dies, Flemming decides to move to a retirement place in Arizona, and Jennifer meets Ellis!  It’s like that line from The King and I, “Some enchanted evening/ You may see a stranger,/ Across a crowded room/ And somehow you know,” — it’s New Year’s Eve, their eyes connect, and, of course, you know it won’t end there.

AdalineMeetsHisFamilyFlashbacks fill in some of the missing pieces — why she runs, how she does it, and why she’s tired of running and “lying to nice people.”  So Jennifer decides to take a chance.  Just when you think she’s going to have a ‘normal’ life with Ellis, she meets his family and everything blows up.  She tries to run again.  But . . .   you’ll have to see the movie; I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Some fine acting by Harrison Ford as Ellis’ dad, William, Anthony Ingruber as the young William, and Kathy Baker as William’s wife.  Directed by Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind and Jesse and Celeste Forever).  This isn’t a blockbuster movie but it is gentle, poignant, and a nice change of pace. * * * 1/2

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About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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2 Responses to The Age of Adaline, movie review

  1. Susan Finlay says:

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from the movie, either. I liked it. I agree you do have to suspend belief, but it was well-written and well-acted.

    Like

    • mysm2000 says:

      I read a review somewhere by someone who enjoyed the soundtrack but, as usual, I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t notice it. I vaguely remember the music at the New Year’s Eve bash. Maybe I’ll get to see it again and listen for it. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

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