Movie Review: The Age of Adaline

In between several family birthdays, I had the opportunity today to draw another creative action. Only four folded slips of paper remained in the glass pitcher. 

I selected:

Watch a movie I haven’t seen before. 

I’m always excited to watch a new movie. My sister and I took our granddaughters to see Finding Dory last night. It was a wonderful movie and I’ll write a review for it soon. Tonight, I was searching through Amazon Prime for a movie I had not seen, for today’s creative activity. The Age of Adaline caught my eye. Having seen previews for this film, I knew the synopsis. I was drawn by the clever, and dare I say creative, play on words in the title. 

The Age of Adaline stars Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn. This fantasy drama was directed by Lee Toland Krieger. The movie carries a PG-13 rating, for suggestive comments, and has a run time of 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Adaline Bowman (Lively) was born on New Year’s Day, 1908. She led a normal life…falling in love, getting married, giving birth to a daughter…until a series of tragedies occurred, leaving her a widow and forever suspended in time at the age of 29. 

The years pass, however Adaline doesn’t age a day. Her daughter, Flemming (Burstyn), ages normally. To prevent suspicion and unwanted questions, Adaline makes the difficult decision to move every ten years, changing her looks and her name. Only Flemming knows Adaline’s unique story. 

To keep her secret, Adaline, who is currently using the name Jenny, chooses to live a solitary life. She avoids relationships and being photographed. Her only companions are a series of pet spaniels. 

But then Ellis Jones (Huisman) comes into her life, by way of a shared elevator ride, and Adaline finds her resolve to live in isolation crumbling. She cautiously opens her heart again to love. All is going well, until Ellis takes Adaline home to his parents’ 40th anniversary party. 

Ellis’ mother, Kathy (Baker), welcomes her son’s new girlfriend. But Ellis’ father, William (Ford), is shocked when he meets Adaline. He calls her by her real name, and Adaline recognizes him as the man she fell in love with in the 1960s…a man she ran way from. She offers the story that Adaline was her mother, and she passed away. Both William and Adaline are shaken. 

The encounter brings up memories for both of them, and for Adaline raises the fear of discovery and the survival instinct to flee. Again. Will she run away, as she always has in the past? Or will her love for Ellis allow her to finally live out of her true heart?

This was a beautiful film. The story weaves together Adaline’s present existence with well done flashbacks that fill in the pieces of her life through the decades. While it would appear that becoming ageless would be a positive experience, the film poignantly portrays the loneliness that Adaline feels as she watches life pass her by. 

Ellis is Adaline’s invitation back into life. The great joy he exudes allows her to hope that she can move beyond her self imposed restraints. William, Ellis’ father, reminds her of the old belief she carries that love is not for her. She knows she will outlive everyone that she cares for. Isolation seems safer. 

William sees Adaline slipping back into fear, and tells her, “All these years you’ve lived. But you’ve never had a life.” 

What powerful words, and how close to my own heart they struck. I could relate to Adaline’s fear…of being different, of losing those she loved, of being seen for who she really was, and not being accepted. Like Adaline, we all make the choice, sometimes daily, of living small and invisible in fear, or living a big life by being fully who we are. 

I make that decision…fear or life…almost daily. Adaline made her choice too. 

2 Replies to “Movie Review: The Age of Adaline”

    1. It was very good! Blake Lively does an excellent portrayal of a woman who has frozen her emotions, in order to survive! I think you will enjoy it. 😊

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