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AGE OF ADALINE, THE

SYNOPSIS: Adaline (Blake Lively), who is born at the turn of 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. Remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline leads a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend away with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Review by Louise Keller:
A freak snowstorm, a mysterious comet and a love worth waiting for are the key ingredients in this romantic fantasy in which time stands still for its beguiling heroine. Never mind that the story is far fetched, the film engages largely due to a winning central performance by Blake Lively as the ageless Adaline, who spends her life running instead of living because she fears someone will learn her secret. So completely has director Lee Toland Krieger cast the spell that even the occasional rather mundane voice over narration fails to distract. The piece de resistance features a well cast Harrison Ford as Adaline's former lover, when the past and the present are fused together in a cleverly constructed scenario.

The story begins on New Year's Eve; the day before Adaline's birthday. Using turn of the century newsreel footage as a tool with which to springboard into the past, the film takes us back to the unlikely events that trigger a phenomenon - to stop Adaline ageing beyond her 29 years. Such is our commitment to the reality Krieger has created that we are able to suspend our disbelief and accept Ellen Burstyn as Adaline's daughter - even though she is old enough to be her grandmother.

It is the establishment of the charming relationship between Adaline and Ellis (Michiel Huisman) that forms the film's heart. He gives her flowers - but not as you imagine - and they take each other to places where the other has never been. Huisman has a natural charisma and there's a lovely chemistry between the two. Everything comes alive when the lovers head to the country to spend the weekend with Ellis' parents (Ford and Kathy Baker), who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. Time seems to stand still, when William (Ford) first meets Adaline and cannot believe his eyes. The nostalgia of his heartfelt memory of their love affair is strong enough to make his wife jealous. Watch for the Trivial Pursuit scene, when Adaline's first hand knowledge of events in the past come in handy - and make for a lot of fun.

The dynamic between the characters works extremely well and although this is a fantasy, the emotions are grounded in reality and are affecting. The ending is a tad predictable, but romantics won't complain. This is a delightful rom com with a time travel twist that will appeal to all ages.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

AGE OF ADALINE, THE (M)
(US, 2015)

CAST: Blake Lively, Harrison Ford, Michiel Huisman, Amanda Crew, Ellen Burstyn

PRODUCER: Sidney Kimmel, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg

DIRECTOR: Lee Toland Krieger

SCRIPT: J. Mills Goodloe, Salvador Paskowitz

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Lanzenberg

EDITOR: Melissa Kent

MUSIC: Rob Simonsen

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Claude Pare

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Entertainment One

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 16, 2015







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