Finding Your Feet


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Finding Your Feet
"A cast to die for? Certainly. And they almost do." | Photo: Roadside Attractions

The poster screams "The Feelgood Film Of The Year." How do they know? It's not even March.

You can tick off the influences. You can feel the soggy bottom ("It's gravity, darling. It happens to all of us"). You can taste the glue.

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The Marigold Hotel crowd crashed through the geriatric ceiling and disproved the maxim that old age is a box office bummer. The difference between them and these wrinkled stereotypes is character. The retirement trip to India with a clutch of Dames and a gay Wilkinson contained interesting baggage. The love at last sight, as portrayed by the cast of Finding Your Feet, is as predictable as a Strictly pastiche or a Full Monty chorus line, fully clothed.

Anything with Imelda Staunton has to have something going for it. That's true. And the "something" is her. She plays the wife of a retired Scotland Yard top cop who lives in a mansion beside the Thames and simply adores being part of the posh suburban moneyed classes and being addressed as Lady Sandra because her excuse for a husband (John Sessions) was knighted for services to crime. As her alternative ban-the-bomb (and anything else that pisses off authority) sister Bif (Celia Imrie), who lives in a messy flat on a council estate in town, says, "She married a tosser and became obsessed with keeping up with the tossers."

When the Lady discovers that her soiled soul mate has been having it off with her best friend (Josie Lawrence) for years she goes ape poops, leaves the two-timing adulterous waste bucket, with his cocktales and pompous privilege, and moves in with free thinking Bif whose eccentricities centre around dance classes and her mates from a cosmopolitan pick'n'mix, including Charlie (Timothy Spall), whose wife is in a home for the mentally void, Ted (an unrecognisable David Hayman with a freshly ironed toupee) and Jackie (Joanna Lumley), who is slumming and loving it.

Sandra is so fixated with anally retentive codes of upper middle class conduct that she finds fault in everything. Bif tries to loosen those repressive ties by letting it all hang out ("There's no age limit to getting your leg over") and not giving a fig for convention. Death doesn't mean squat, she says. It happens. So? Life is what matters, not resting on the sofa after a cathartic full clean of the front room, waiting for The Reaper to do his grim.

The plot punctures expectation and yet stays on the rails. Imrie cannot help but enjoy herself. Spall has grown into his skin after dramatic weight loss and for the first time entertains the prospect of playing a spaniel eyed love interest. Staunton can do no wrong, even here where golden syrup has been injected into the scriptwriters' veins and OAPs become the rebels with a cause.

A cast to die for? Certainly. And they almost do

Reviewed on: 22 Feb 2018
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When a snobbish woman discovers her husband has been having an affair, she takes exile with her bohemian sister on a council estate.
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Director: Richard Loncraine

Writer: Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft

Starring: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, Joanna Lumley, John Sessions, Josie Lawrence

Year: 2018

Runtime: 111 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: UK


Palm Springs 2018

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