Time is the enemy of love, they say – and the fleeting nature of our existence is the weighty theme being tackled (if never quite properly explored) here, in what comes across as kind of a rejigged Benjamin Button for people who understandably find F Scott Fitzgerald a little hard-going and prefer happy endings. These choices mainly work – it’s a refreshingly accessible and unpretentious film that tells a genuine and emotive human story, even if it loses some of the depth and haunting resonance of its influences.

It’s helped along by a strong cast – Ellen Burstyn is as wonderful as ever, Blake Lively comes across as stilted and old-fashioned (which one presumes was the point), and Harrison Ford plumbs emotional depths we haven’t seen from him in decades – and it’s handsomely shot by Lee Toland Krieger (whose little-seen debut film The Vicious Kind is worth seeking out). Ironically, this commitment to old-fashioned movie values like decent older actors and sumptuous production design help gloss over its minor failings.

 

THE AGE OF ADALINE
Existential themes of the fragility of love within the short timeframe we have...8
...which are never properly examined, and concluded a little too neatly5
An odd central performance from Blake Lively that is probably deliberate7
A long-overdue excellent performance from Harrison Ford9
Managing to sell very grown up ideas to the young adult crowd8
Bechdel Test Passes
  • Features more than one named female character
  • The female characters talk to each other
  • They talk about something other than men
Bechdel Test Failures
  • n/a
7Overall Score

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