Early in The Age of Adaline, there is a hope of greatness, Lee Toland Krieger whose previous credits include the original Celeste & Jesse Forever has a great eye for the construction of shots. Visually The Age of Adeline is a feast for the eyes, particularly in the films early scenes, San Francisco in the early 20th century is impressively mounted. However the central premise of the film requiring the audience to accept fantasy is hard to sustain over two hours.
The story tells the tale of Adaline born in the early 20th century who through a car crash, some lightning and the cooling of the body not only survives a car crash but is granted the gift of ageless beauty. She doesn’t age a day post the car accident. The film is a Hollywood wish fulfilment fantasy of epic proportions.
Adaline is cool and remote, played by the beautiful Blake Lively, who seems to be channeling Robin Wright from House of Cards. Adeline doesn’t live in one place for very long, ten years is the maximum period before people become suspicious. Even love is problematic, a telling scene has her leave a young man broken hearted in a park clutching an engagement ring. Her daughter is played by Ellen Burstyn, who still looks great 40 years post The Exorcist and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Adaline falls in love again against her best intentions to a young philanthropist played by bearded hunk Michael Huisman. A trip home to celebrate his parents 40th wedding anniversary sparks more melodrama and provides Harrison Ford the opportunity to flex his acting chops.
It’s all a bit silly really.