In “The Age of Adaline”, Blake Lively (best known for her role in “Gossip Girl”) stars as San Francisco librarian Adaline Bowman, who is condemned to remain a young woman of 29, after a car crash made her “immune to the ravages of time”. To conceal her secret, Adaline never allows herself to get close to anyone.
That all changes after a chance encounter with a charismatic philanthropist named Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reawakens her long-suppressed passion for life and romance. However, a weekend with Ellis’ parents threatens to expose the truth, forcing Adaline to make a life-changing decision.
Director Lee Toland Krieger attempts to offer a rational explanation for the preposterous premise, although the deadpan and highly omniscient narration (from Hugh Ross) proves to be more irritating than insightful.
Another hurdle The Age of Adaline film fails to overcome is the distinct lack of personality and poignant moments. There’s no emotional response to becoming immortal; no moment of realisation that she is going to outlive her daughter. Instead, viewers are left with a pragmatic atmosphere that viewers will struggle to engage with.
The actors capitalise on the flawed script to deliver some incredibly strong performances. Blake Lively interjects a natural authority and elocution to her persona, as she maintains the distinction of an older person, while simulating Adaline’s youthful appearance.
However, it’s Harrison Ford who steals the show. In his modest role as Ellis’ father, he reminds viewers of his immense talent, delivering a truly charismatic performance as a man who fears he is losing his sanity.
Above all, The Age of Adaline should be commended for its slick production values. Cinematographer David Lanzenberg cleverly ensures flashbacks are easily distinguishable through the use of alluring colours which, combined with the stunning locations, create postcard-esque visuals, which you can’t help but admire.