The Age of Adaline Film Review

Film Review by Jarred Tito
The Age of Adaline

The Premise
After miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

The Review
If you’re a fan of romantic dramas and don’t mind a small dose of fantasy in the mix, then this movie may well be the perfect fit for you. However, if you’re not a fan of the ‘RomDrom’ or Fantasy don’t worry too much about being dragged off to see it by someone who is because it’s actually not bad. There are many redeeming features to this movie that will absolutely justify your investment at the box office. I wouldn’t normally say ‘trust me’ when recommending a film because I know very well that movies are very prescriptive; what appeals to one person may not and often does not appeal to someone else at all. But in this case I will use the term, trust me, because I for one cannot normally stomach romantic dramas, particularly the variety of ‘finger down your throat’ tripe that Hollywood has been serving up in the past five years. But this one… is different. As I watched I found myself struggling with my emotional memories and bad experiences with this genre. I was even telling myself things like, ‘I must hate this movie,’ ‘this is going to be bad’ and ‘Oh no I’m stuck here for the next two hours and I’m going to really hate it’…! But I couldn’t! There is a quality in this picture that would not allow me to mock or turn my back on. Okay it wasn’t the best film that I have even seen but it was certainly not the worse and even very good. 

Perhaps it was the performance of Blake Lively, and her almost perfect, in my ideology, portrayal of a young American woman in the early 20th century. Her slightly ‘clipped’ American come British accent was delicious to my ears. She’s quite a good actress too and I am sure we’ll see her in many more movies to come. Perhaps it was Michiel Huisman’s performance as the love interest? Initially I had him shelved as the cliché handsome man that would sweep her up off her feet and either, ‘turn out to be evil’ or ‘get killed off or even be the ‘one’ other human that didn’t age.’ Luckily none of the above. (And if he did turn out to be the ‘one’ other immortal whom she happened to meet, I may have been tempted to leave the theatre, dreading the appearance of romantic vampires or people dressed in tight leather with fifty shades of blush!) Thankfully he turned out to be a regular guy and quite a good actor. 

One actor I did enjoy a lot was Harrison Ford. Seeing him back on the big screen again in a proper acting role reminded me of why he was once one of Hollywood’s leading males. He was very natural, funny and believable in this role. For me he added a lot to the movie. I must also say at this point that I thought all of the acting in this picture was very good which is also a reflection on the quality of the writing. 

However, I suspect that the main reason for me enjoying this movie, and I could even say, getting enraptured into this movie, was because of the fine story telling abilities of Lee Toland Krieger, the director. This director knows how to spin a yarn. It’s so evident with all of the little incidental details that we see throughout. Often details are put into the set design and into the photography and sound-track, and there was certainly detail here, but not often enough into the details of story continuity which is quite frustrating. (I hate it when story lines don’t match up.) But in this film they do and they do so beautifully. 

The Verdict
Well done Lee Toland Krieger and thank you cast and crew. I really do feel that they have made something special here and that it is well deserving of an audience. It’s not Academy Award wining stuff, but that’s because of the content not the performances. So finally, I would say, yes! See this picture. I promise that you will not be disappointed. Trust me. Oh and, they do work with the whole ‘not aging ‘ concept quite well.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 16th April 2015
Rating: TBC
Duration: 110 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Blake Lively, Harrison Ford and Michiel Huisman
Director: Lee Toland Krieger (Celeste & Jesse Forever)

The Extras
Blake Lively was ultimately chosen for the lead after much debate.

Katherine Heigl was set to play the lead role but dropped out to spend more time with her family.

Dame Angela Lansbury was cast to play Flemming in 2010 when Katherine Heigl was still attached to play the title role.