Age of Adaline
Starring: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, and Ellen Burstyn
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
DVD release date: 9.8.15
My Thoughts: When this movie debuted last spring, I remember there was talk about this being Blake Lively's first star vehicle. While she was arguably the biggest draw of the show Gossip Girl (which I didn't watch after the first season), it's true that she is usually part of an ensemble or the love interest, so I was excited when I snagged this from the library the week of its release to see how she handled her first true starring role on film. While the film wasn't my favorite, I have to say that I thought Blake Lively's performance was elegant and spot-on. She is a true movie star.
The Age of Adaline tells the story of Adaline Bowman, a woman born in 1908 who, after a car accident in her late 20s, stops aging completely. After drawing attention of the government when she is supposed to be nearing her 50s (while still looking like Blake Lively), Adaline begins a life of running. Every decade, she changes her identity and appearance (although based on the flashbacks, that is like: "now she has bangs"--at no point does she not look like Blake Lively). This leads to a lonely life where she barely sees her daughter (played through the majority of the film by the incomparable Ellen Burstyn), and doesn't make very many friends.
Her life begins to change when she finds herself being pursued by a handsome man named Ellis. Ellis is well-off, smart, and compassionate, and before she knows it, she is letting someone into her life right at the time when she is about to make her next big escape. Her daughter advises her to just go-for-it. No one is chasing her anymore (they think) and everyone who knew her when she actually was that young is now gone...Or so she thinks, it isn't long before she ends up running into a man who was one of her great loves in life--in the 60s--that throws her whole existence into question.
While I honestly didn't love this movie--partly because I read a spoiler about it on Instagram of all places (since when do people spoil shit on IG? So annoying), so I spent the movie waiting for the revelation to occur--it was a perfectly pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning before doing the work I need to do for the rest of the day (after I quit procrastinating by now writing a review-lol).
What I most liked about this film was Blake's performance. She does an outstanding job of portraying a woman in the present-day who was born at the beginning of the century. Adaline is old-fashioned, knowledgeable, and kind. She has a spark of wisdom in her eyes that belies her age. She is convincing as the mother of a woman 40-50 years her senior. I understood her hesitancy of letting others get to close, and felt her heartbreak when a particularly heart-breaking scene occurs. She really makes the movie (as does the rest of the cast--although to a lesser extant).
Another thing I really enjoyed was seeing the different "personas" Adaline takes on. While again, and for real, she always looks like her, I love the clothes and hairstyles of the different eras that we get glimpses into. I really wish we would have been able to see more, because there are really only, like, three in the film. It would have been great to see even just snapshots of her life throughout the years (even though Adaline is obviously camera-shy).
What makes me take off a few points is just how melodramatic the movie can be at times. I also cannot help but wonder how a certain dynamic would work in the real life (you will totally understand what I'm talking about if you watch the film). I also wish the use of voice-over would have been a little bit more restrained. Being a reader, I don't really mind voice-over, because I do understand some things just cannot be portrayed on screen, but man was there a lot of voice-over use in this film.
Overall, I did enjoy this film, and would certainly recommend it now that it is out on DVD (or however you get your films--although I personally wouldn't buy this one). Again, it was a pleasant way to spend my Sunday morning. Now somebody write this girl some more starring roles!