We live in an era where billions are spent on cosmetics and plastic surgery yearly; growing old is anathema, forbidden, shunned at any/every cost; a wrinkle, instead a badge of a well-lived life, is “photo-shopped”, botoxed, lasered, expunged out of existence; “youth” an elusive aphrodisiac slips, evaporates, like sand through a sieve, no matter the roadblocks constructed to impede its passage. Director Lee Toland Krieger and writers J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz go beyond the borders of age-advancement and ask the pertinent question, what if it could be arrested, frozen? And the price? “Dorian Gray”, “Benjamin Button”, “Peter Pan” who would trade places with these characters?
“The Age of Adaline” , beautifully, poetically filmed is the story of “Adaline Bowman” born January 1, 1908 (mesmerizing, subtly- sensational performance by Blake Lively); because of some astrological, thermonuclear phenomenon Adaline, after an automobile accident suffers from “petrified youth”; alone in the syndrome, realizing she will out-live all she loves, she perpetually moves, creating new identities, new careers, isolation; a myriad of dogs inform her days and monotonous, peripatetic lifestyle; her only constant, a daughter, “Flemming” (ever-wonderful Ellen Burstyn), supports, cherishes her miraculous mother.
Adaline’s icy facade is fissured when “Ellis Jones” (passionately attractive Michiel Huisman) pursues her, cooks for her, plies her with books, melts the glacier encasing her heart; she eventually meets his parents “William and Kathy Jones” (seasoned to perfection Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker); the stars and the plot spin deliriously, deliciously out –of-control.
The moral of this reality flick is to accept the “specter in the mirror”, uninvited, possibly wizened, undoubtedly, blessedly here to stay.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!