The Age of Adaline (2015) Directed by Lee Toland Krieger. With Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn.
I’m not as well versed in the genre of romantic-fantasy as I would like, but as they go, I suspect The Age of Adaline is a good one. Co-written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz under the direction of Lee Toland Krieger, the film stars Blake Lively as Adaline Bowman, a beautiful woman who loses the ‘ability’ to age. Of course, the idea of immortality is an attractive prospect to many of us, but what about loved ones?…what about love?
The cinematography by David Lanzenberg boasts a luxurious quality, which seems to reflect the sophisticated elegance of Adaline herself. In Blake Lively, who until this film, is best-known for her role in TV’s Gossip Girl, the film has an intriguing leading presence. Adaline isn’t cold at heart, but feels like she’s been given an open-ended life sentence by the curse of her eternal youth, which forces her to appear aloof. On top of that, she carries fear and paranoia about the ‘powers that be’ discovering her secret. They say that youth is wasted on the young, which, is certainly the case with Adaline.
As the story unfolds, we learn more and more about Adaline’s past, as she struggles to keep her secret amid falling in love and being reunited with an old flame. The course of true love never runs smoothly…and it can sometimes cross paths.
About halfway through, the presence of Harrison Ford lifts the film to another level. Ford’s face is familiar to us all, and sometimes big movie stars can inadvertently take you out of a piece like this, but he’s excellent – reminding us that beneath the movie star, there’s a quality actor who has improved with age.
From an audience perspective, Adaline’s distanced demeanour makes her an awkward character to engage with, even though we’re privy to her secret. As a by-product, her coldness rubs off on the overall feel of the film, as a marked feeling of being kept at arms length seeps in. It’s unfair to hold the film responsible for this, as ultimately, its heart is in the right place, as it seeks to say things about the precious nature of life. Death is universal, but so is love. 3.5/5