Another installment of our most likely missed movies available through various streaming services. This week we have the Age of Adeline. Chances are you haven’t seen this movie since it opened up right around the time Avengers: Age of Ultron was raking in box office gold (sort of ironic on those titles huh?), I’ll try to keep this spoiler free so you can enjoy the film yourself should you choose to watch it.
Age of Adeline was dismissed as a “female Benjamin Buttons” but I can assure you that is not the case, first off Adeline is not mired an existential paradox that just made completely no sense AND it isn’t as boring as sin 😉 That said, it does deal with time, aging, and the perils of mortality and immortality. Adeline is played with convincing conviction by Blake Lively (Gossip Girl, Green Lantern, The Shallows) and co-stars Michiel Huisman as Ellis (World War Z (also as Ellis), Orphan Black, Game of Thrones) and Harrison Ford (so nice to not have to cite references). Adeline, through an accident just before her 30th birthday, ceases to age another day. She is faced with the realization that should this ever be revealed, her life will be spent as a test subject. Doomed to watch her child age while she forever stays young she lives a lonely existance never able to feel close enough to someone she won’t eventually watch grow old and die in front of her. There are some nice subtle touches they use to illustrate this without going into a long dialog about it. She favors a particular breed of dog (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) and replaces her pet with the same breed each time her furry companion passes. Her taste in music and love for history (which to her was at one time current events) are spotlighted throughout the film. I loved the choice of wardrobe for Ms. Lively in this film, timeless looks that had a classic flare and a nice flash of nostalgia. Angus Strathie (Deadpool, Moulin Rouge) evidently worked closely with Blake Livey to create the vintage outfits Adeline wore in the film. It was interesting to see her dress a bit more flashy in the beginning of the film, but then dress herself down as the film progressed and she valued her anominity above almost all else.
It turned out to be a bit more somber than I expected. The film is a romantic story, but not overly sappy and actually quite sad. Certainly not as saccharin as The Time Traveler’s Wife or Bicentennial Man, which deal with similar themes (there nothing wrong with either of those films, they just milked that aspect of the story in a very obvious and emotional way). One stand out in the film to my eye was Anthony Ingruber (Halo:Faith, Avatar) as young William Jones (the same character played by Harrison Ford). He did a great job of capturing Ford’s presence and even did a close approximation of his voice. It is interesting his name was never bantered around for the young Han Solo in Disney’s new Star Wars franchise machine. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.
The film doesn’t deviate too far from what you would expect, but it was done so with compelling acting performances and a solid script. Director Lee Toland Krieger (Ascendant, Beyond TV series, Riverdale) kept the beautiful tragedy of Adeline’s journey in his sights and lead the cast to follow the excellent screenplay. There are some interesting moments that, should they have been explored, would have made for quite a different film. The angle that should her secret become known, she certainly would have been captured, held, and experimented on for all of her days (which would have been forever). It is a chilling thought that should anyone ever publicly display extraordinary powers or abilities, they would most likely be killed or at least see life as they know it end, as wars might even be fought for the right to examine such a person. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Age of Adeline and while I’m disappointed I missed it’s initial release, it made for a great “Amazon and Chill” night 😉 Give it a chance, I think you might be pleasantly surprised.
Age of Adeline is available via Amazon Prime for free!