‘The Age of Adaline’ – A Romance That Will Defy Time

October 13, 2015 23 Comments

Some films that beg to be seen on the big screen and those that can wait. The Age of Adaline falls into the former. Alas, as with most films, I never did see this at the box office. Multiple people told me it was excellent – everyone from family to blogging friends, and yet I never took the initiative to see it while it played in theaters. Though a risk, during a shopping trip I bought a DVD copy. 

The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline (2015) Film Review

In the early 1900s, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) is born. She lives a charmed kind of life with a family who loves her. She meets and falls in love with a talented architect. A daughter named Flemming soon follows, and they enjoy a wonderfully full life. Until she doesn’t and tragedy strikes. Adaline lost her husband and not long after, she was in a car accident that altered her forever.

Since that fateful night, Adaline stops aging.

This curiosity earns the attention of the FBI forcing Adaline to go on the run. She changes her identity through the decades, moving often though she remains close to her daughter (Ellen Burstyn). With exception to one mistake in the past 60 years, Adaline has also remains unattached. This has been her rule… until today. Ringing in a new year – 2015, introduces her to Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman). Recognizing Adaline from a previous encounter, Ellis is intrigued; and he pursues Adaline without reservation. But her secret remains between them and without promise of a real future, Adaline finds herself afraid of change… and love.

With the sequel vs the action blockbuster battles, the box office isn’t kind to ingenuity. Nor is it commonplace for quiet dramas. This film fulfills both needs in one story. Not only does it allow quiet and unique to co-exist, it does so with beautiful skill. The story suffers a few drawbacks, but for the most part, I feel like this film is one of the best to come along in a while. The script is a stunning story of a woman who lives an extraordinary life, her fear of love and the journeys she takes.

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To begin, I must say Blake Lively is amazing. She pulls off Adaline’s quiet, classy and wise persona with grace and self-confidence. Plus, let’s not forget the stunning costumes “through the years” of Adaline’s story. I adore Adaline as a character; she may have character quirks as any character does, but her classic beauty and grace is a testament to what good characterization is. This is essentially Blake’s first starring role, and she meets the challenge. Ellis is something of a different story. He’s not a typical male lead, and is in fact, easily clustered in with the eccentric millionaire trope, but… I like him. A lot. Perhaps his being played by a relative unknown helps to sell this. Everyone in the cast – including Harrison Ford and the actor who plays Ford’s younger self, are quite good.

“Tell me something I can hold on to forever… and never let go.” – The Age of Adaline

Naturally, the costumes too are beautiful. If there is a complaint, it’d be that we don’t see enough of Adaline’s fashion from the decades she strolls through. But to make up for it, costumers give contemporary Adaline a stunning wardrobe. Seriously, her party dress in the beginning of the film is the only kind of “evening wear” women should wear. Not only is it gorgeous, it’s a classic stunner that attests to the epitome of style. The story itself sort of evolves along with its fashion and whirlwind of eras. Adaline tires of leading the life she exists in. She’s alone and fearful of where time leads her. She misses living because she’s too laser-focused on escaping what it waits to offer her. How she eventually comes to learn, accept and open herself to love was a full circle kind of ending that is breathlessly lovely.

Those of us who admire the quieter, slower-paced drama are sure to make this film a frequent re-watch. It’s one of those films that has as good of a message as its performers stun with their characters. Actually, the script is a kind of fairy tale that does take a few unique liberties though its compass ultimately points to happy-ever-after. If you don’t mind a few flaws (there are some) and a pinch of whimsy, The Age of Adaline is sure to enchant you. It certainly met and exceeded my expectations.


(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can rent or own The Age of Adaline on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.

THROWBACK REVIEW: Blake Lively stars in 'The Age of Adaline' – A #Romance That Will Defy Time Click To Tweet
Content: there is implied sex. The couple begins to kiss before the scene fades away; we next see them lying in bed together. There is some minor profanity. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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23 Comments

  • Meghan Gorecki October 13, 2015 at 4:13 PM

    I loved this movie. It was a little slow to me at parts…but the flashbacks were my second favorite thing to watch in the movie…the first being the bouquet of books. This hopeless romantic writer about lost it. LOL

    • Rissi October 13, 2015 at 10:21 PM

      Aw, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Meghan! I did as well. It's such a "classic" romance and Blake was amazing in the role! I'm sad to admit I don't remember the "bouquet of books"!? How did I miss that!? Sounds terribly romantic. I'll have to go back for a rewatch. How sad. *sarcasm* ;D

  • Renee (SteelerGirl83) October 13, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    I was kind of intrigued by this, but then I saw all of the negative reviews in magazines and through major websites and let it go. I should know better. I can't tell you how many films I have adored, which critics have hated. Thanks for bringing this back to my attention. I'm definitely going to give it a watch!

    • Rissi October 13, 2015 at 10:30 PM

      It's really quite good, Renee. The only drawback is the narration tries to be serious (scientific) instead of playing to the fairytale nature of the story. That aside, I adored this one. It can be a bit slow but Blake is amazing and the romance!? Awww…., super sweet.

      Like you, I often adore/like those films the critics bash. If they detest them, I love 'em. ;)

      Let me know what you think if/when you see this one, Renee. :)

  • Hannah Barta October 14, 2015 at 3:45 AM

    I thought this looked sort of interesting when I saw it previewed in the theaters. Maybe I'll check it out sometime :)

    walking in the air.

    • Rissi October 15, 2015 at 2:35 AM

      It is indeed interesting, Hannah; in a lovely, classic kind of way. :)

  • Nine October 14, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    Oh, I absolutely loved this movie! Blake was perfect for the role she played.

    • Rissi October 15, 2015 at 2:36 AM

      Hi, Nine! I agree. Blake was perfect; it was fantastic to see her in something other than a teen-esque role. :)

  • Rachelle October 14, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    This was such a good one. I second that about Adeline's wardrobe–that would have been nice. :) But all in all, such an enjoyable movie (and I actually thought at first I wouldn't like it)!

    • Rissi October 15, 2015 at 2:40 AM

      Ditto; I had such fun discussing this one with you all on Twitter. The film is beautiful and has some amazing acting as well as a charming romance. What we saw of the costumes were gorgeous! But then, as a period drama addict, I can never see TOO many of those. ;)

  • Courtney Clark October 18, 2015 at 12:36 AM

    What a great review, Rissi! You put into words so beautifully my feelings about this film, too. Yes to the wardrobe, casting, and whimsical story! And, I would like to point out how fittingly timeless the name "Adaline" is. :)

    • Rissi October 20, 2015 at 7:11 PM

      Thank you for reading, Courtney; I enjoyed writing this because I liked the film so much. :)

      The entire film was really brilliant. Sometimes it's nice to find something "old-fashioned" in comparison to what is popular at the box office nowadays. This film fit that mold and does it very well. Also, I agree! "Adaline" is a beautiful name. :)

  • Tressa S October 19, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    I really enjoyed this one, despite the narrator who liked to stick his voice in scenes. I thought it was so fabulously done and the acting was fantastic as well. I could have done without the scene, which made it so I can't watch it with my kids, but otherwise, it was really good.

    • Rissi October 20, 2015 at 7:13 PM

      I love how you phrased that, Tressa – a narrator who "liked to stick his voice in scenes." 'Tis true, he did. The reviewed on Silver mentioned thinking it'd have been better if the narration had taken on a more fairytale narration (in my mind I could see something like Cinderella's storytelling working). I think that'd have worked nicely as the movie does have the feel without being a fairytale. :)

  • Kara November 28, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    This is such a beautiful movie, isn't it? It's very quietness is what appeals to me I think. As I said on twitter (I think?), my one qualm is the fact that they tried to give actual scientific explanation for how she didn't age. While it didn't really bother me, per se, I didn't think they really *needed* to explain it. If that makes sense? But I absolutely loved this movie regardless! It's gorgeous. And Blake's costumes? Oh wow, if I had half her wardrobe! And her hair!

    Oh! I should also note that I read lots about Harrison Ford's performance and I have to say that I agree. He did an amazing job. I could feel his emotions so clearly. Excellent performance!!

    • Rissi November 30, 2015 at 7:08 PM

      That it is. The costuming, the acting, the story… all of it is elegant. And yes, it's that quietness that makes it all so perfect in addition to the romance. Yeah, all that narration sort of put a damper on the romanticism. I mean, like you say, it doesn't ruin the film, but that was a flaw!

      (YES! How fun would it be to raid some of our favorite fictional characters closets!? :D)

      Everyone, including Harrison Ford were amazing. The producers gathered quite the talent in this film. :)

      Glad you liked this one too!

  • Raquel Z. Duarte December 11, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    This looked like such a weird movie…… Still haven't seen it.

    • Rissi December 12, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      It's actually SUPER sweet and romantic. But of course, as with everything, some movies aren't going to appeal to everyone. And that's okay. :)

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  • […] 1: THE AGE OF ADALINE […]

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