The Leisure Seeker


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Leisure Seeker
"The plot can sink without trace, which it does, because this is all about the stars" | Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival

The whole point of a road movie is the journey. What can you do with a bossy woman and her doolally husband in an old fashioned Winnebago except drive from one smart camping site to another? They have a couple of "incidents" on the way that are sorted in a heartbeat and then it's back to the chatter (hers) and the inability to remember a damn thing (his).

The plot can sink without trace, which it does, because this is all about the stars. On Golden Pond was a farewell outing for Hen and Kate as this is Don and Helen's sunset moment. He looks good with his trimmed beard and she acts her socks off (standing ovation obligatory).

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John (Sutherland) used to teach English at college, specialising in the works of Hemingway. Now he has Alzheimer's, although can still drive, probably illegally, which gives Ella (Mirren) free rein to rev up that motor mouth.

Back home in the 'burbs their grown up children, Will and Jane, are freaking out because the Winnebago had been sitting in the garage doing nothing for decades before mom and dad did a runner.

Will is on the mobile phone constantly ("Where are you, Mom?" "We're taking a little holiday. Back soon") which becomes even more annoying than watching iconic actors waste their talents on a geriatric rom-com that should have been tucked up in bed before the journey started.

"I'm sick and tired of having to remember everything for you," Ella says.

That's the limit. Of its humour. Soundtrack from their courtship compilation tape does better - Carole King, Motown, etc - but the recurring question for those still hanging on is what's going to fall apart first, the vehicle or the old folk?

Reviewed on: 19 Apr 2018
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The Leisure Seeker packshot
An old couple take a road trip despite his Alzheimer's and her inability to stop talking
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Director: Paolo Virzì

Writer: Stephen Amidon, Francesca Archibugi, Paolo Virzì, Francesco Piccolo, based on the novel by Michael Zadoorian,

Starring: Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland, Christian McKay, Janel Moloney, Dana Ivey, Dick Gregory

Year: 2017

Runtime: 112 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Italy, France

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