The Leisure Seeker review: Often obvious, but star power saves this poignant film

April 20, 2018
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The first English-language film from Italian director Paolo Virzì is often alarmingly obvious, working in fits and starts, but the seasoned skills of the two stars just about make the film roadworthy.

Sporting a Southern accent and a succession of wigs, Mirren plays the gravely ill Ella.

Her husband John (Sutherland) is a retired professor with a passion for Ernest Hemingway and a form of dementia that never really rings true.

The duo are determined to enjoy one last road trip so they climb aboard their trusty 1975 Winnebago, dubbed The Leisure Seeker, and head to the Florida Keys. 

Their anxious children fret on the sidelines as the elderly couple ride along to the sounds of Carole King and Janis Joplin and experience somewhat predictable interruptions from a flat tyre to an attempted robbery.

The relationship is defined by a mixture of affection and exasperation as John’s memory constantly fails him while Ella grits her teeth and endures the pain of her cancer.

A bumpy trip in places but a poignant one.



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