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FINDING YOUR FEET

SYNOPSIS:
When Sandra (Imelda Staunton), a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband Mike (John Sessions) has been having an affair, she visits her estranged, bohemian sister Bif (Celia Imrie) who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate. Bif introduces Sandra to her vibrant group of friends that includes Charlie (Timothy Spall), Ted (David Hayman) and Jackie (Joanna Lumley). They all meet up regularly to dance.

Review by Louise Keller:
Bitter sweet, with a pedigree English cast, Finding Your Feet may be predictable fare, but it has a heart of solid gold. Wimbledon director Richard Loncraine's thoroughly enjoyable film is a happy mix of comedy, drama and romance and will appeal to audiences who embraced films like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft's screenplay tugs at our emotions as it addresses some challenging themes but overall the film is gently uplifting as it explores love, loss and taking a leap of faith in pursuit of that elusive piece of happiness. It's about social status and attitudes; sex and adultery; illness and death; bonds and friendship and finding that unbridled lust for living.

One of the best things about the film is its sense of place and we get a lovely feel for being in London: traversing the recognizable city streets, heaths and ponds as well as tasting the class structure. The Rome sequence is also atmospheric. The central characters are all accessible with instantly recognizable traits as they manage their lives and relationships.

The film begins amid chintz and champagne, as celebrations and revelations turn lives upside down. Namely that of Imelda Staunton's stitched up, snobby Sandra, whose ultra straight hair relaxes into waves and curls: the barometer of her emotional state. These opening sequences are overplayed, but accurately reflect the hoity-toity nature of the characters involved. By contrast, when we meet Sandra's pot-smoking bohemian sister Bif (Celia Imrie), she is like a breath of fresh air. I love the line that Bif delivers to her sister modestly immersed in the bath. It's about the inevitable impact of gravity on the flesh and wishing our spirits are not thus impacted. The initially strained relationship between the two sisters develops nicely.

Timothy Spall, with his distinctive hangdog look is appealing in what is essentially an untypical leading man role; he is the easy-going soul who lives on a barge. He has spent his whole life fixing things but cannot fix the thing that matters most. Joanna Lumley (always delightful) has some great lines, including the one about one of her many former husbands who she divorced 'for religious reasons': 'He thought he was God. I didn't'.

The story arc takes flight through the rhythms of the community dance group, where the combo of music and movement brings suitable exuberance. There's a contagious music track list that includes Rock Around the Clock, Chantilly Lace, Rockin' Robin, I Wanna Wake Up With You, Where do you go to my Lovely, Sisters and Elkie Brooks' Running to the Future, which nicely exemplifies the film's upbeat ending. As for the cast, you cannot get better.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FINDING YOUR FEET (M)
(UK, 2017)

CAST: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions

PRODUCER: Andrew Berg, Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft, John Sachs, James Spring, Charlotte Walls

DIRECTOR: Richard Loncraine

SCRIPT: Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft

CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Pardue

EDITOR: Johnny Daukes

MUSIC: Michael J. McEvoy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jon Bunker

RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: EOne Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 22, 2018







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