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Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland in THE LEISURE SEEKER

helen-mirren-and-donald-sutherland-in-the-leisure-seeker

Not sure about the movie itself, but Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland are certainly a bunch of talented actors to look at. The Leisure Seeker, directed by Paolo Virzi (Like Crazy, The First Beautiful Thing, Human Capital) got its trailer and its coming to your screen in January, next year.

The pair play an aging couple on a pilgrimage in their RV to see Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, something they haven't done in a very long time. Sutherland’s character suffers from Alzheimer’s, and along the way his wife tries jogging his memory with slideshows of their earlier years.

"A road movie short on comedy and drama should at least offer a keen level of observation, but here insight is scarce and emotional resonance is faint. More of a fizzle than an outright disaster, the film's star power should anyway get it onto TV, video and airlines after a spin through Venice competition." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Official synopsis reads:

Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren and two-time Golden Globe-winner® Donald Sutherland star as a runaway couple going on an unforgettable cross-country journey in their vintage camper. Ella and John are fleeing the suffocating care of their doctors and grown children. He is distracted but strong; she is frail but sharp. Their journey aboard the faithful old camper they call The Leisure Seeker takes them from Boston to Key West. Sharing moments of exhilaration and anguish, they recapture their passion for life and their love for one another on a road trip that provides revelation and surprise right up to the very end. The film is inspired by the novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian.

The Leisure Seeker is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian. See it in theaters January 19, 2018 and check out the trailer below.

"The only real surprise here occurs in the first two minutes, when it seems Virzì is about to take a powerful swipe at his host country: as Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” fills the speakers, her plaintive “something has died” is almost drowned out by a Trump campaign truck on the manicured streets of Wellesley, Mass., blasting the future president’s “make America great again” pitch. The juxtaposition makes you think there’s going to be some political or social commentary here, but no, that promising subtext is subsequently ignored.

It can be argued that all road movies resemble one another, but this one doesn’t even try to make the journey feel fresh. Ultra-chatty Ella Spencer (Mirren) decides the time has come to take out the old Winnebago, nicknamed the Leisure Seeker, and drive with her retired high-school-English-teacher husband John (Sutherland) down to Key West to visit the Hemingway house. The catch is that John has Alzheimer’s and Ella’s on medication, wears a wig and occasionally doubles over with pain. (Gosh, might she have a life-threatening illness?) Their prissy son Will (Christian McKay) freaks out that they’ve disappeared, while their professor daughter Jane (Janel Moloney) expresses concern but keeps it more together." (Variety)

"The Leisure Seeker has many miles to cover, which leaves the audience plenty of time to get to know Ella and John. She’s a perky southern belle, as sweet as a slice of key lime pie; the one who’s holding the whole trip together. And he’s a handsome old horse, a retired professor in the early stages of dementia, with a habit of subjecting every young waitress he meets to a lengthy lecture on 20th-century literature. They are played by Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland – both of whom give rousing, substantial performances even if they never quite match the pathos and chemistry managed by Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in the similarly-themed Our Souls at Night, which screened here at Venice just a few days ago.

Virzi’s characters are slightly broader, more obviously tragicomic and his film throws them through many more misadventures. As Chekhov very nearly said, if you show a gun in the glove compartment during the opening act, you can bet that at some point Ella will use it to see off some hoodlums. “You fellows should consider some evening classes,” interjects John, an academic to the end. “It’s not too late to turn your lives around.”" (The Guardian)

Tags:   news, comedy, trailer, drama, film news, The Leisure Seeker

Related:   Like Crazy


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