The Age of Adaline was released into theaters late April of this year. It tells the tale of a woman named Adaline Bowman and her miraculous ability; she will never age a single day, she is immortal.
Young award-winning director Lee Toland Krieger returns with this Romantic-Drama, having directed such films as The Vicious Kind and December Ends in the past.
The premise of The Age of Adaline revolves around Adaline being born at the very beginning of the 20th century where she lived a normal life; fell in love, married, had a child. At the age of 29, while driving in a storm, everything took a life-changing turn. Adaline was in a car accident, aided by some lightning and some rather questionable ‘science’, she never aged a single day thereafter.
The idea of a film about immortality is not a new concept in the slightest, The Age of Adaline, however, focuses almost entirely on the subject of romance, while tackling the issues that are bound to arise when you cannot age and grow old with someone.
Adaline is portrayed throughout the film as someone who is incredibly lonely, having segregated herself from people and romance, living out her existence archiving old books at the local library, and spending her nights with an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. By 2015 she finds herself deeply unsatisfied with her loneliness, yet unable to find love due to her fear of her immortal secret being discovered. This all changes when heartthrob philanthropist Ellis Jones comes into her life.
The film suffers with the issue from lack of time to tell the story. Because of this The Age of Adaline brushes over 80 years of her life as if it were nothing important. However, throughout the film we are treated to flashbacks of her past, masterfully produced they give off the impression of that time, there just weren’t enough of them.
One thing the film certainly got right was the casting, with Adaline being played by the gorgeous and talented Blake Lively. Not to mention Michiel Huisman as Ellis and his father being played by none other than Harrison Ford. With a cast like this the acting is going to be of a high standard, and this was very much the case, all scenes were played fluidly and passionately by the plethora of cast.
The main issue I found when watching was listening to the dialogue. The writers have the opportunity to create an amazing story with a top-notch cast, and yet the script and dialogue of the film falls flat. The audience can expect to hear some of the most pretentious and embarrassing dialogue which I’m sure was meant to sound dramatic and inspire the romantic feeling of the film, and yet it just came across embarrassing to listen to and made my skin crawl.
A flaw within the narration of the film that is present throughout, is that there doesn’t appear to be any need for it, and along with telling the audience ludicrous ‘scientific’ facts about what occurred to Adaline, it brings the audience out of the experience, and the script itself makes for once again explicitly dramatic and cringe-worthy dialogue. It’s feels forced, almost as if the director assumes his audience is incapable of working out the story themselves.
One thing that makes up for the lackluster dialogue is the cinematography of the film, with beautiful shots of San Francisco, journeys into the aesthetic of the past with wonderful costume and set design, it really feels as if you are traveling through time.
Overall, The Age of Adaline is an inspiring romantic film based around the subject of immortality. The film would possibly benefit from replacing some of the uninteresting romantic jargon scenes with more about Adaline’s past, since she comes across as a character who isn’t necessarily as fleshed out as she should be considering all she has lived through.
What did you think of The Age of Adaline?
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