Age of Adaline, The : Movie Review

The Age of Adaline (2015)  - Movie PosterThe age of Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) is 107 when her birthday rolls around on January 1, 2015, but she permanently looks 29, her body immune to the ravages of time following a freak 1937 car accident, a dip in frigid waters that stopped her heart, and a timely lightning strike that defibrillated her back to life. Frightened of being captured and studied by the FBI, she has been using aliases for over sixty years, moving around every decade and refusing to get close to anyone save for the one person who knows the truth, now-elderly daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn). Weeks before Adaline (currently going by Jennifer Larson) is due to relocate from San Francisco to a farmhouse in Oregon, she has a serendipitous run-in with the handsome, thirty-something Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman). She hasn't allowed herself to feel this way about another person for many, many years, afraid there cannot possibly be a future with someone who will continue to grow old while she remains exactly the same. As Flemming tells her, however, she shouldn't be wary of opening herself to the possibility of love; as with life itself, no relationship lasts forever.

"The Age of Adaline" weaves a fantastical tale within a plausible real-world setting. Comparisons to 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" are inevitable, though in this case Adaline appears to be immortal rather than aging backward. This handsome romantic drama, written by J. Mills Goodloe (2014's "The Best of Me") and Salvador Paskowitz and directed by Lee Toland Krieger (2012's "Celeste and Jesse Forever"), shows restraint and emotional delicacy, striking truthful existential notes without falling back on maudlin melodrama. Whether it be Adaline having lunch with a daughter who is now in her eighties and thinking about moving to a retirement community in Arizona, or Adaline placing a picture of her latest dog in a photo album filled with all of the pets she has had to say good-bye to throughout her long life, the film brings a poignant humanity to the notion of looking back on the past as the passage of time marches forward without stopping. Scenes such as these, or another where she watches old film strips of San Francisco from generations long gone, give too-infrequent breadth and insight into her unique situation.

See Dustin Putman, for full review

Author : Dustin Putman,