In this romantic drama, Blake Lively plays Adaline Bowman, a San Francisco woman who remains 29-years-old for nearly eight decades after a near death experience halts her aging. After Adaline’s husband is killed in an accident, her young daughter continues to grow, overtaking her in age but remaining close as Adaline shifts identity every ten years.
We meet Adaline in the present day, a lover of history who works in a library and avoids close relationships and having her photograph taken. Her closest friends are a spaniel dog, her aging daughter and a blind musician. That is until Ellis Jones (Game of Thrones’ Michiel Hulsman) enters the scene. Adaline’s decision to meet his parents on a family weekend risks her story becoming discovered.
The film is softly romantic and visually appealing. Lively plays Adaline with a subtle touch of smooth antiquity to her voice. At times she appears to characterise herself with age, while at others she appears much younger again. The relationship between Adaline and her aging daughter (played by Ellen Burstyn) is done well and Michiel Huisman is the appropriately bearded romantic male who balances scruffiness with sensitivity.
The costume design by Academy Award winner Angus Strathie (Moulin Rouge!) is one of the best parts of the film – even in the present day setting, Adaline is dressed with a sense of nostalgia that gives occasional nods to her early twentieth century origins.
Blake Lively delivers a performance that strides clearly into a new genre of roles for her. Lovers of gentle romance and period drama will enjoy The Age of Adaline immensely.
The Age of Adaline is out in cinemas today.
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