ABC Film Challenge – Romance – E – Elsa & Fred (2014) Movie Review
Director: Michael Radford
Writer: Marcos Carnevale, Marcela Guerty, Lily Ann Martin (Screenplay)
Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Marcia Gay Harden, Wendell Pierce, Jared Gilman, Erika Alexander
Plot: A withdrawn senior experiences life in new ways when he begins spending time with the free-spirited woman who lives across the hall.
Tagline – It’s never too late.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Elsa & Fred starts when serial liar Elsa (MacLaine) learns she is getting a new neighbour in Fred (Plummer). An recently widowed man who is closed off to the world, being forced into moving in here to be closer to his daughter Lydia (Harden), with a new home carer Laverne (Alexander).
When Elsa starts to get to know Fred, she is trying to get him out of his shell, while showing all the weaknesses in her own ways, which has seen her always talk her way out of situations.
Thoughts on Elsa & Fred
Characters – Elsa is a serial liar, who always ends up making up stories to escape her own truths in life. She is carefree and always trying to capture her youth again, which will see her befriend the new neighbour.
Fred is being forced to move closer to his daughter, so she can hire a carer and know where he is during his own medical problems. He doesn’t like letting people into his life, but Elsa seems to find a way to bring him out of his shell.
Lydia is the daughter that has moved Fred closer, she does get involved in his life more than normal, but only because she cares, while her husband’s plans go on more than they need to.
Performances – Shirley MacLaine is great with her role, which she has to seem like she is distant from certain real world moments. While Christopher Plummer as a grumpy lonely man that comes out of his shell shines through the film, with the supporting cast all doing great through the film.
The story follows two neighbours that meet when one moves in and they help each other out of the difficult moment they are facing in life. A moment that they both need instead of facing getting old too soon.
This is a story that shows the importance of letting people into your life when you feel the weakest. Seeing how they will look to help you overcome the struggles you have been through and help you escape to enjoy the next stages of life. How family can be there to support you, but it will be the strangers in life that you will find offer a different kind of love. It does play out like you would expect, which makes it an easy watch throughout.
Comedy/Romance – The comedy in the film comes from the different situations the pair find themselves in. It will get chuckles rather than laugh out loud moments, while the romance shows us that you are never too old to fall in love.
Settings – The film is set in New Orleans, where both sides have lived most of their lives, and inside one apartment block could bring them closer than they imagined.
Scene of the Movie – The holiday.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – Bit too predictable.
Final Thoughts – Elsa & Fred is a sweet comedy that will get laughs and emotions running as the elderly couple fall in love.