Movie Junkie Mark: ‘The Age of Adaline’


“The Age of Adaline”
2015 – PG-13

This film is a charming blend of magical realism, romance, and sci-fi, with an emphasis on romance. When I read the plot summary, I was skeptical that it would be corny. However, its excellent writing, attention to detail, and quality of acting made for great entertainment.
Much of the credit goes to the collaboration between director Lee Toland Krieger and cinematographer David Lanzenberg and screenwriters Salvador Paskowitz and J. Mills Goodloe. The result is an almost believable film. And I say almost.
Adaline, played by Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl”, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), was born on January 1, 1908 in San Francisco. She gets married, has a daughter, then loses her husband in a work accident on the Golden Gate Bridge.
One evening, driving through a freak snowstorm, she has a car accident and is killed. However, thanks to an incredible event, not only is she brought back to life, but she never ages and is still 29 years old.
A narrator explains the details of this, and I thought it was both unnecessary and a little awkward. The science of what happened obviously doesn’t really make sense.
At the start of the film, I found the character of Lively stiff and distant. But when you consider his fate of living forever without aging, it seemed fitting. I imagine that since you kept the same age, you would be forced to abandon your friends every decade or so before they became suspect. It would definitely behoove you to avoid getting too close to anyone.
We get a sense of Adaline’s life through a series of flashbacks. They include an incident where the government is suspicious of her and is about to discover her secret. This forces him to flee and start his life over.
Fast forward to 2014. She works in a library where she meets a charming young man, Ellis, played by Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”, “Orphan Black”). He made his fortune by inventing an algorithm capable of predicting the weather and now wishes to devote himself to philanthropy.
He is in love with her and tries to woo her, even though she desperately tries to keep her distance and avoid starting a relationship. The story takes an interesting turn when she meets her parents William and Kathy Jones (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker). Let’s say that Adaline has already met her father, and let’s leave it at that. (We don’t want spoilers now, do we?)
Adaline’s relationship with her daughter Flemming also adds to the plot. She is played by veteran actress Ellen Burstyn, who is decades older than Adaline. To avoid suspicion, they pretend that she is in fact his grandmother.
Flemming has a unique perspective on old age, knowing firsthand the state of his mother’s health. Burstyn is absolutely charming as usual, although it’s a little shocking at first to see her with her 29-year-old mother.
Overall, I liked “The Age of Adaline”. If you’re in the mood for a good evening movie, search the net for this one, check the rational side of your mind at the door, press play, and sit back and enjoy the ride for a few hours!
If you like this kind of movie and want to see more, I recommend you try “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “The Time Traveller’s Wife”, “If Only”, “About Time” and “The Lake House”. .”
Currently streaming on Netflix and Prime Video.

My grading system:

HA really stinky. A movie that’s so bad,
you are embarrassed to

admit that you saw it,
but it should still be noted.

HH So-so. Not a total
waste of time, but you should have done better
reading a good book.

HHH Pretty good. In
in fact, if there were none
other movies in your
queue, you might see it again.

HHHH One you would have
recommend to friends.

HHHHH so good
you would go out and actually buy it!

About this column:
I mostly focus on movies that I think have flown under the radar and deserve more recognition.
They include both mainstream and independent movies streaming on services like Netflix,
Houpla and Kanopy. I’ll also review notable new theatrical releases.
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