Edie: DVD Review
Less Reese Witherspoon's Wild, more a tame film that pulls no surprises, Sheila Hancock's Edie is a woman with a mission late in life.
Freed from the shackles of an abusive marriage that imploded into a stroke for her husband that imprisoned them both for 30 years and with a care home beckoning for her future, Edie decides on a whim to tackle a Scottish mountain climb.
With the cry of "Never too late for you, Edie" ringing in her ears, and with memories of a mountain promise made to her by her late father, Edie goes AWOL (with scant follow through from her daughter) to the Highlands.
After bumping into Guthrie's Johnny, Edie's conned into getting training from his so-called camping ways to tackle the journey...
Edie is predictable fare, that treads a familiar path to redemption without any flashiness or surprises.
It's in its subtlety that it works best, and with a twinkling performance from Hancock, and a genuinely empathetic grounded turn from Guthrie, the film's Odd Couple vibe of lost souls tends to work best early on.
Edie's determined to cast the shackles of the shadow of her past life off and climb both the literal and metaphorical mountain dragging her down. Equally, Johnny's uncertainty over being stuck in a small town, shackled to a partner's business plan, threatens to overwhelm his future and hold him back in much the same way as Edie's abusive husband did.
It's here that Edie stumbles really - its desire to repeatedly and unsubtly beat home parts of its message mean that - coupled with endless use of slow mo towards the end - the film becomes mired in sentiment and treats its audience with less respect. Along with the fact that logic and some key plot threads are just left dangling, this is never anything but Edie and Johnny's friendship, set to the backdrop of what appears to be shameless tourism video promotion for the rolling vistas of bonnie Scotland.
But in among the battle of unnecessary wills and heads being butted testing boundaries, Hancock and Guthrie quietly impress, imbuing the film with a resonance of a less-is-more execution.
It's unlikely that Edie will trouble either box offices or end of year lists, but it does offer an older audience a viewpoint seldom seen - of life after marriage, and in the twilight years. It's here that Hunter's film packs a quiet power - but had those in charge pulled back and removed some of the padding, the inter-generational friendship story could have flourished more than it comes close to hinting at.