Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘The Age of Adeline’
Watch the whole thing HERE!
The new Blake Lively movie The Age of Adaline sees its star play a woman who was frozen in time at age twenty-nine, never to age another day. No laugh lines, stiffness in the bones or grey hair for her. She drifts through life, an eternal twenty-something as her pals age and eventually die.
How does she compare to friends and family? Well, in the film the youthful centenarian Lively has a daughter played by Ellen Burstyn, a veteran actress fifty-five years her co-star’s senior.
It’s a romantic fantasy that brings up an interesting question. Sure, the idea of defying age sounds intriguing, but why would you want to fall in love when there is no possibility of growing old together? That’s the dreamy question at the heart of the film; the notion that allows director Lee Toland Krieger to explore the mushier side of the story, but what about the engine that drives the tale—immortality?
With characters like Wolverine and Edward Cullen pulling in big box office bucks it’s not shocking that movies seem infatuated with eternal life. Nor should it come as a shock that actors are drawn to immortal characters. The obsession with youth is one thing, that’s a job requirement—perhaps that’s why the USA, with Los Angeles at the epicenter, is the world capitol of plastic surgery—but I think it goes beyond that.
With visions of an ageless Adaline dancing in my head I posed a simple question to Alex Garland, the director and screenwriter of this weekend’s artificial intelligence drama Ex Machina: “Why have movies about immortality been so popular with actors and filmmakers?” I got an intriguing answer.
“There is an interest floating around which is as much to do with longevity, as it is immortality,” he said, “but it contains immortality as a long-term goal.
“Broadly speaking what I would say, at least where filmmakers are concerned, is that they’re subject to the same zeitgeist things that everybody else is so what they will do is manifest it in their job.”
Perhaps that’s why in the coming months we’ll see eternal characters in everything from The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Terminator Genisys to Pan and Crimson Peak.
The rich and famous have always dreamed of extending natural life. For instance, although it’s an urban legend that Walt Disney was frozen cryogenically to be thawed later it makes a good and almost true sounding story. While doing working on Ex Machina Garland says he discovered tales of wealthy people looking to find immortality through science.
“The researchers might be quite realistic about what artificial intelligence can promise but the funders may be less realistic about it. One of the things that some of the funders are looking for, and I’ve heard this expressed very explicitly, not in a coded way but an absolutely straightforward way, is the ability to download yourself and for you to survive long as a result of your enormous wealth.
“Powerful people don’t want to die. Everyone else figures they don’t have a choice but the really powerful people figure they do have a choice and they are going to explore it just in case.”
I think Hollywood may be obsessed with immortality for one other reason. Film stock offers it’s own kind of eternity, where one never ages and on the screen Blake Lively will be the twenty-nine-year-old Adaline forever.
Love, and almost everything else is tricky for Adaline Bowman (Lively). For nearly eight decades she has been frozen at age 29. Her daughter (Ellen Burstyn) looks like her grandmother while Adaline has been immune to the ravages of time. Over the years she has become closed off, rarely making friends and never dating lest she be found out and experimented on to discover the secret of eternal youth. Every ten years she moves, changes her identity and starts all over again.
Just days before a move from San Francisco to Oregon, her life is thrown off schedule when she meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), a handsome philanthropist who falls in love with her at first sight. Despite her better judgment she becomes involved with him, but as their relationship deepens a revelation threatens to reveal the truth about her strange life.
“Age of Adaline” is a movie that requires a serious leap of faith on the part of the viewer. It’s ripe with Nicholas Sparks style clichés—a woman who never thought she’d love again finds happiness, but at what cost?—and fantastical elements that would even test even Ponce de León’s belief in eternal youth.
Then there is a plot twist of sorts. They’ll be no spoilers here, but suffice to say Adaline has had a complicated love life and the repercussions of decades old romances echo through time affecting her present day relationship. It’s a weird turn that dips into creepy/absurd territory and is an unsatisfying climax to the film.
On the upside Lively is, well, lively, bringing pathos and vulnerability to Adaline. Her mannered speech sounds right for someone who came of age in a different time and she almost manages to pull off most of the film’s groaner dialogue. There’s a laugh in her voice when a random himbo tries to throw her a line, and then embarrassed says, “I guess you’ve heard that before…” “I have,” she giggles, “from a young Bing Crosby… type.” It’s a cheeseball line, but she pulls it off… barely.
“The Age of Adaline” is a silly movie that requires an almost impossible level of suspension of disbelief but somehow the metaphysical melodrama, with its lovely design and strong performances over comes the ridiculous plotlines to become an almost timeless romance.