‘It is better to live rich than to die rich.’ Samuel Johnson
From On Golden Pond to Gran Torino to Up, some of the best films in history have attempted to depict what it is like to grow older in this modern world. Accessing the lives of people who are living in one of the later chapters of their lives and how everyone copes differently with this stage in life. Proving that despite carrying a bit more wear and tear, these characters can have so much to say about this existence and that every moment of life is meant to be lived to the full.
As she enjoys her life in the upper-middle class of English society, Sandra Abbott (Imelda Staunton) comes to the realisation that her husband of forty years has been having an affair with her best friend. As she attempts to process how this will impact her life, she decides to seek out solace in London with her estranged sister, Bif (Celia Imrie). The siblings begin to realise that life has taken them on very different paths and they both have to come to terms with the changes as they attempt to reintroduce themselves to one another.
As Sandra comes to terms with the end of her marriage and grieving the life she has to leave behind, she must adapt to the free-spirited lifestyle of her older sister. Through dance classes, swimming at the local pool, and living in the inner-city, Bif manages to light a fire under her sister and breathe new life into her. Proving that this chapter of their existence on this earth is not the end, but a fresh beginning to what remains of their life.
The premise of a new start at the final stage in life is not original to cinemas, but that does not mean that there is not more to be written about the golden years. Not that Finding Your Feet breaks new ground in this genre, but it does provide an enjoyable look into the reality that the peaks and troughs of living continue throughout life. Even with many touches on the reality of life occurring in the film, the cast looks to be enjoying themselves in each scene.
‘And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’ Hebrews 10:24-25
The screenplay shows that despite the imperfect aspects of family and the friends that come into our lives, each is essential for a fulfilling a rich existence on this earth. It is easy to say that this has been said and done on screen, but it is a message that needs to be reiterated in our modern, fast-paced society. Especially for those who claim to live out a Christian faith, all play a part in caring for others, encouraging one another and being there for family, friends and even our enemies despite how they may respond to this example of love, grace and mercy.
Director Richard Loncraine (5 Flights Up) has taken a familiar message and capitalised on the universal need people have for others. There are no surprises or great action sequences, but for those who tire of the depressing and dystopian stream of films in cinemas, this is one that will bring about a smile and will make people want to reconnect with friends and family.