Archives for posts with tag: ellen burstyn

Ads for this movie ran all the time before it came out, and I think I’d meant to see it.  The previews were gorgeous, as if Blake Lively had made an extremely stylish perfume commercial in every decade in the twentieth century.

That’s really all there is. Adaline Bowman (Lively) almost dies in the and her twenties, but, because of some dubious scientific mumbo-jumbo, not only doesn’t die but actually stops aging.  Obviously.  In the fifties or sixties the FBI gets really hot under the collar about it, plus there’s the obvious social awkwardness when your daughter starts to look older than you.  So she moves house (apparently only within and around San Francisco) and changes her name every ten years.  When we meet her, she has just obtained a new passport, and is finishing out her job in the public archives before a move to Oregon under the new pseudonym.  Because of her condition, she has never allowed anyone to love her since her husband died young, and this tragedy lies heavy on her, though it does not compromise the bounciness of her ponytail.

Enter Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), tech Croesus and philanthropist.  He falls for her at once, and is the kind of pushy about it that you can only be if you’re very handsome.  Because of how plots work, Adaline (currently called Jenny) finds herself falling for him, too, even though she’s so security-obsessed.  She judges both his cooking and his taste in jazz, since her age allows her to have buckets of knowledge and be hyper-observant and her beauty allows her to be kind of an ass.

After something like three weeks of dating, Ellis takes her up to his parents’ fortieth anniversary do.  His dad, William (Harrison Ford), is an astronomer who keeps waiting for a comet to pass.  Now, obviously William and Adaline had an affair in the sixties, and obviously Adaline and the comet are analogous near misses.  William figures it out and yells about how desperately he wants Adaline to learn to love, at least for Ellis’s sake.

And here’s the kicker: after about thirty seconds of self-centered nonsense and running away, Adaline figures that’s fine!  And Ellis is not bothered!  What the actual foxtrot!

I have so many questions.  First, why does it not occur to Adaline to ask what Ellis’s dad’s name is?  They share a surname, and, unlike Adaline, William doesn’t lie about his.  Second, why is the Freudian weirdness never addressed?  Third, why isn’t the actor who plays young William in the sixties flashbacks going to play young Han Solo (no disrespect to Alden Ehrenreich)?

This is a silly, rather dreadful movie.  Huisman is cute and Lively looks stunning in every possible decade, somehow managing to find splendid jazz age gowns in the 2010s.  The emotional beats, however, are stupid and insulting, and the unnecessary fake science is worse.  But if you want to watch a feature-length perfume ad, go ahead.

Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Rating: PG-13
Length: 112 minutes
Score: 2/5

In Main Street, Colin Firth is a Texan who works for a hazardous waste disposal company. His name is Gus Leroy. And this movie was made in 2010. I know, I don’t understand either.

In fact, for the whole movie, I just kept asking myself, “Why was this made into a movie? What is the point of any of this? Is any of the set-up going to pay off?”

It takes place in Durham, North Carolina, which for some reason is portrayed as a small Southern town of which no one has ever heard. Harris (Orlando Bloom) is a city cop whose high school sweetheart Mary (Amber Tamblyn) has essentially guilted him into going to law school so he can make something of himself. Margo Martindale is his mother; apparently there’s an estranged brother (named Peter) somewhere–but I’m not sure why, or why, for instance, Mary doesn’t know Peter’s name. Mary is fooling around with her caddish boss (Andrew McCarthy, for some reason), until she finds out he’s married, and then…decides to move to Atlanta. Harris agrees, for some reason, to drive her to the airport. Gus is renting a warehouse for his hazardous waste from Miss Georgiana (Ellen Burstyn), and seems quite squirrelly for a while until her niece (Patricia Clarkson’s Willa) arrives on the scene and sasses him into a conscience. Or maybe he already had it. You can’t tell.

I wish I had something clever to say about this movie. I’m not actually mad at it, but it is remarkable for inspiring basically no feelings other than a slightly irritated confusion. It doesn’t have a point. Perhaps it was trying to make a social, economic, or environmental statement, but it doesn’t. All of the romances, such as they are, are so wooden, talky, and vacuous that you just feel sorry for the people doomed to utter these lines. Like, this movie is a waste of Orlando Bloom’s talents. Let that sink in for a while.

Director: John Doyle
Rating: PG
Length: 92 min.
Score: 1/5.