Adaline Bowman, a woman born in 1908, met with an unfortunate accident at the age of 29. After careening off of the road and getting submerged underwater, a magical collection of events saved her life but also took away her body’s natural ability to age. Stuck at the age of 29, she attempted to some time to live normally, but her lack of aging eventually caught up to her. Permanently choosing to stay hidden from attention, she leaves behind her daughter and starts life anew over and over again. In present day, she is working in a library when a young philanthropist challenges her ability to stay hidden from attention. Unwilling to let go of his mystery woman, she slowly lets her guard down and leaves herself open to a true dilemma of secrecy versus love.
Review: Although the narration was a bit odd at times, the overall story was truly an intriguing one. Lee Toland Krieger displayed both the pseudo-science and the dramatic love story woven together through Adeline’s life. Blake Lively (Adaline) seemed a bit too detached at times, but her character was one who avoided attention as much as possible. Her performance can also be viewed in another light, one that recognizes that her mind had continued to age to a point of true wisdom and sophistication more closely matching her true age versus her physical appearance. Michiel Huisman (Ellis Jones) was truly a likable love interest. Between his persistence, creativity, and adoration, he solidified himself as a strong representation of the thing Adaline believed she could never achieve. Harrison Ford (William Jones) was a bit rough around the edges but filled his part as the catalyst for Adaline’s inner turmoil.
In a story that attempted to use science to explain the extraordinary, it never drew the focus away from the more interesting challenge of the secrecy of her true story. The dance which Adaline and Ellis engage in was truly magical, at least when she was not overcompensating for keeping her true self hidden. The background was interesting to create a clearer picture of how she established her present day style of living, but the true drama began the moment she decided to join Ellis for his parents’ anniversary. Confronted by William, a love from her past, she fights to avoid attention from William while also battling internally with how to potentially reveal herself to Ellis.
This is a film that was intriguing but missed a bit on the pacing and overall tone of the storytelling. While Blake’s portrayal can be explained through the length of time her character had been alive, there was an unnatural way that she carried herself that detracted a bit from the emotional material that could have been displayed.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5