Time is the single most valuable thing in the universe, but what if time becomes your enemy? What if, while being able to control your youth through some sorta “stalled time” magic, it means having to outlive everyone (and everything) that you’ve ever loved? What if it means having to build your life in a new place only to pack up and run every decade or so?
“The Age of Adaline” explores that phenomenon with a beautifully told story.
You see, Adaline Marie Bowman (played by Blake Lively) was born at 12:01am on 1st January 1908. She led a normal life until the age of 29, when something highly unusual occurred – something almost magical. She suffers a car accident, “dies” in frigid waters, and is brought back to life by a lightning strike, the combination that causes her to remain 29 years old forever.
From that point on, Adaline Bowman was immune to the ravages of time.
All is well until as her daughter Flemming grows older but Adaline is not aging, and it becomes apparent to even random friends/strangers.
While the idea of permanent youth sounds fantastic, one day she is pulled over by a cop, who takes away her ID as it says she is in her late 40s. This sent the curious, higher authorities after her as she’s hauled into a car by 2 FBI agents one night while she was walking home. They try to take her on an airplane but she escapes and it was then that she decides she will spend her life running. She explains this to Flemming (played by Ellen Burstyn), and they have a heartfelt goodbye.
What follows is a collection of events, images, and moments trapped forever in the amber of time. This collection, while far from comprehensive, is presented in an effort to capture the expansive and not-so-normal life Adaline continued to live, over 10 decades, without ever aging a single day.
In the beginning, it sounds like an excellent plan, and it’s quite easily done. Keep changing your identity, keep running, never ever reveal who you really are, don’t fall in love, pray nobody falls in love with you in return, and cut of all ties as and when necessary. But alas, all that changes one fateful New Year’s Eve where Adaline (or rather, Jenny) she meets Ellis Jones (played by Michiel Huisman, of “Game of Thrones” fame).
After a bout back and forth flirting, Ellis decides to take the leap by taking her across the Golden Gate Bridge to meet his parents at their 40th anniversary weekend celebration. There, Adaline gets hit right in the face with a blast from the past when she and Ellis’ father, William Jones (played by Harrison Ford) lock eyes. Let’s just say that from this point onwards, it gets intense.
I won’t spoil the rest of the film for you but if you want my honest opinion, if not for Blake Lively’s “perfect fit” for the role, then watch “The Age of Adaline” for what I think is Harrison Ford’s most outstanding performance in the recent years. I do need to warn you though that in the beginning, it might seem like it’s just an excuse for Blake Lively to look stunning in gorgeous, timeless gowns in almost every scene – but it does get better. So good, it might even render you a blubbering crying baby at times.
I would know, it had me in tears.
Also, if you’re a fan of pseudo time travel-type love stories ala “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “About Time”, with a little anti-aging or age-defying-type film ala “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” thrown into the mix, then you’re going to love this film.
Watch the trailer here:
“The Age of Adaline” is now showing in cinemas nationwide.