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Review: The Age of Adaline

Imagine being 106-years old and looking like Blake Lively. Doesn’t sound like such a tough deal right? Well, it is for Adaline Bowman.

Adaline was twenty-nine when a fateful car accident stopped her aging process. Adaline learned that she would live forever in the body of her twenty-nine-year-old self. Wanting to keep her anti-aging a secret, Adaline becomes a recluse; moving places and switching names every few years or so. The only relationship Adaline maintains is one with her daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn). In the present day, 106-year-old Adaline meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), a charming young man who she is instantly drawn to. Adaline tries to maintain her distance, but Ellis will not leave her alone. After Ellis’ numerous attempts to woo her, Adaline finds herself falling in love for the first time since she was twenty-nine (Well hello Mrs. Robinson!).

The Age of Adaline has so much potential to be a great film, but it unfortunately misses the mark too many times. With possibly one of the worst voice over narrations in film history, the film leaves a bad taste from the first minute. The film spends far too much time focusing on Ellis harassing Adaline, and only introduces its most interesting component during the second half of the film. Harrison Ford appears as Ellis’ father, in a twist that could have easily been the entire focus of the film. As William Jones, Ford is doing some of the best acting work he has done in years, which makes it even more unfortunate that his story is left for the film’s third act.

Lively and Jones are fine, but their characters are not developed enough to carry the film. Likewise, Burstyn gets some great moments, but is resigned to few appearances. Perhaps the film’s largest acting surprise comes from Anthony Ingruber as the young William Jones. Ingruber’s Harrison Ford impression is spot on, and easily one of the film’s highlights.

With a rewrite and a different director, The Age of Adaline could have easily been one of the best films of the year. Ultimately the film is bogged down by its misguided screenplay and poor excuse for narration. The Age of Adaline may be worth seeing for Harrison Ford alone.

[star v=25]

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.