Can we be sure Blake Lively isn’t immortal? I feel like some testing should be done.
“The Age of Adaline” is a high concept film about a woman who, thanks to a miraculous accident, never ages past 29. The movie deals with ideas of mortality and sacrifice as it explores Adeline’s modern life with occasional looks back at what brought her to where she is today. It’s not exactly a new idea, there’s a TV show on currently called “Forever” with the same basic concept, but it is a chance to explore it in new ways. Which is why it’s disappointing that when all is said and done, there really isn’t much worth holding onto in this story.
Now don’t get me wrong, technically it’s put together really well. The score is lovely, there is some nice creative camera work interspersed, as well as some really good performances. Blake Lively, who plays Adeline, is absolutely stunning in this, and captures perfectly how a centenarian mind in a 29 year old body might interact with the world. But the standout for me was Harrison Ford. Truth be told, as much as I love his charm and charisma as Indy and Han, I’ve never really liked him in these kinds of roles. But I have to say he really got me here as Adeline’s former love interest coming to terms with thinking he’s seeing her again. Seriously good stuff. I just wish there had been more meat in the story for them to sink their teeth into.
But there really isn’t. With a movie like this I want to really process these concepts and feel the truth in the consequences of her unique situation. But here it feels more like a Sunday stroll, where the contemplation is abstract and without purpose, and the pace is meandering and slow. I mean I get that we should feel Adaline’s steadiness from her years of existence, but the world around her should have an energy to it that draws us along. Plus there is so much expositional narration throughout this movie that at times I felt like I was watching a wikipedia entry instead of movie. There’s even this throwaway line in the narration about how what caused Adaline’s condition will be solved in the year 2035, and I’m sitting there thinking, I want to see THAT movie! The one where the world is dealing with the moral repercussions of knowing how to stop the aging process. Which now that I think about it is the basic plot of that Justin Timberlake flick “In Time”, so maybe “The Age of Adaline” is actually it’s prequel? The point is, when you spend more time thinking about the things the movie could be rather than what’s happening on the screen in front of you, it probably means it’s not as engaging as it should be.
Overall, “The Age of Adaline” is a skillfully acted and made film with a concept that wasn’t nearly as interesting as it should have been. It wouldn’t be a bad date movie, but isn’t likely to stay with you after you walk out. Even with a wonderful performance by Mr. Ford, there just isn’t enough to age this movie past a C+