Finding Your Feet Review
"The cinematic equivalent of a nice cup of tea and a biscuit "
There has been a boom of films that appeal to older audiences in the UK in recent years, comedies that cast prestigious actors and Finding Your Feet
is the latest film to follow this trend.
Sandra (Imelda Staunton) is a keep up with the Jones' type of woman who's humiliated when she finds out her husband has been having an affair for five years. She only has one person to turn to, her estranged older sister Elizabeth (Celia Imrie), or as she is more commonly known as, Biff. After some initial hostilities, Sandra becomes a part of Biff’s set of friends, joins their dance group and learns to have some fun.
Finding Your Feet
can be described as safe and cozy - a film that knows how to appeals to its target audience. When I went to see it I was probably the youngest member of the audience. The audience I watched it with enjoyed it, so on that level Finding Your Feet
Finding Your Feet
is predictable – the plot points and character arcs can be seen from miles away. So the key question is how entertaining and engaging the final product is and the answer is it is a solid enough film. There are witty lines sprinkled throughout the film and there was some sincerity behind its production.
The charity Age UK was mentioned during the film: they have promoted the film in their stores and act as a major catalyst to the plot. Because of their involvement, the film does focus on issues affecting elderly people, like isolation and depression. This gives the film more heart than some of its contemporaries and elevates it above some of the films that target the ‘grey pound’ market. Timothy Spall’s Charlie had a tragic subplot because his wife, Lilly (Sian Thomas) suffers from Alzheimer’s to the point that she doesn’t recognize him and he had to sell his home to pay for her care. Charlie, his friend Ted (David Hayman) and Sandra all suffer from depression in some form – Charlie admitted he took anti-depressants and still suffering from his wife’s rejection, Ted is grieving for his wife and Sandra drowns her sorrows in drink before becoming a part of the dance troupe.
These 'grey pound' films also allow many older actors a chance to continue to lead a major film - nor can they be begrudged a paycheque. Staunton, Imrie, Spall and Hayman all had some juicy material to work with whilst Joanna Lumley is always a welcomed presence. Imrie as Biff is a child of the '60s and still lives the hippy lifestyle: she smoked weed, keeps active and has a Ban the Bomb poster - yet her flat is a pigsty. Staunton is portrayed as a bitchy version of Hyacinth Bucket - a snob who likes the finer things in life and desperate to keep her status and title. Sandra does have a softer side because she clearly loves her daughter and grandson, learns to loosen up and her nack for housework does give Biff's life some order.
Whilst the screenplay is cookie-cutter, its biggest problem was the outdated pop-culture reference. The reference to the Ice-Bucket Challenge is forgivable but when a small boy makes a reference to 'Gangnam Style' it makes it clear that the screenplay had been sitting on the shelf for a few years. The film also has the contrivance of the dance troupe being talent spotted and get to perform a routine at Rome - it would have been more believable if they got to perform on TV in the UK after their charity dance went viral, but it does allow for a change in scenery and I can hardly complain about seeing some tasty looking pizza, pasta and ice cream on screen.
Finding Your Feet
does what it sets out to do. People who like this type of film will enjoy Finding Your Feet