Review: Scottish indie ‘Edie’ aspires to inspire but remains earthbound
The low-key Scottish indie “Edie” from director Simon Hunter is a noticeably more grueling version of the well-worn genre of seniors giving life’s challenges one more go — in this case, sending an octogenarian up a mountain.
At 83, English actress Sheila Hancock shows considerable physical grit as the title character, a London housewife whose late widowhood is marked by regret at all she didn’t achieve married to a controlling, then long-invalided husband, not to mention a deteriorating relationship with her grown daughter. On a whim, she travels alone to the Scottish Highlands in the hopes of seeing through a mountain-climbing trip promised and canceled decades ago.
As sentimental as Elizabeth O’Halloran’s screenplay already sounds, it’s made more cloying by adding a young camping-store guide (Kevin Guthrie, trying hard) as the suspicious-then-inspired companion foil for her cranky charms. Hancock can do a lot with a tart line of dialogue or a change in her eyes, but Hunter’s worshipful camera all too often treats Edie as if she’s as much of a monument as Mt. Suilven. Few performances can survive that kind of attention.
There’s lots of pretty location cinematography from August Jakobsson, but much of the story’s resonance as a Merchant Ivory version of “All Is Lost” is undercut by a preponderance of montage storytelling and a score that’s all music-box treacle. Something tells me a documentary on Hancock simply navigating the rigors of “Edie,” as well as acting it to the fullest, might have been more readily inspiring.
Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
Playing: Starts Sept. 6, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica
Only good movies
Get the Indie Focus newsletter, Mark Olsen's weekly guide to the world of cinema.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.