Published on June 29th, 2017 | by Allan Brown0
EIFF 2017: Edie Review
Movie Review: Edie (2017)
UK Release Date: TBC
Running Time: 102 minutes
Director: Simon Hunter
Writers: Simon Hunter
Cast: Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie, Paul Brannigan, Amy Manson, Wendy Morgan
Having lived under the domineering restraints of her husband in the early years of their marriage, then subsequent thirty years of care she devoted after a blood clot left him immobile and totally dependent. His final passing gives eighty four year old Edie (Sheila Hancock) a freedom she has long desired. However, despite Edie being in good health for her age, her concerned daughter Nancy (Wendy Morgan) would rather have peace of mind by slinging her into a local care home. But Edie – a once “wild child”, has other ideas, and her new found freedom ignites a strong desire to fulfil a promise she and her now departed father had once planned – to climb mount Suilven together. With a new sense of purpose, a spring in her step and adventure on the cards, Edie heads to the Scottish Highlands oblivious to the immensity of the challenge she has set her sights on.
Sheila Hancock anchors the film effortlessly in a stunning performance that seems almost tailor made for her. Her ability and range as an actor conveys the mental pulling and pushing her character finds herself in to stunning effect. One the one hand Edie is trying to adjust to the full freedom her life now has, whilst simultaneously searching for that adventurous child she once was. Whether propelling down a highland road on a mountain bike at lightning speed or heading out for a night on the tiles, these new experiences have both positive and negative impacts on the path of self discovery Edie now finds herself on.
In the central supporting role Kevin Guthrie – as Jonny, once again delivers a dynamic performance that is bursting with heart and charm. The chemistry between he and Hancock – that is key to the films success, is handled with the care and attention it deserves, in what is one of the most tender onscreen friendships of the year.
And then there’s the wild, rugged landscape to which the film calls home. The Scottish highlands and most notably Suilven, are captured with breath-taking effect. It would be an understatement to say Scotland has never looked so incredibly awe-inspiring on film before. This is underpinned by Debbie Wiseman’s exquisite and deeply moving score that is just another element in what makes Edie such a memorable and joyous experience.
At its heart, director Simon Hunter has created a light and upbeat film that shares a similar tone to Ken Loach’s ‘The Angels’ Share’. However, peel back the surface and there are underlying themes that challenge the social stereotypes of ageing and friendships within our society. Despite these themes barely being mentioned – at least verbally, they are their nonetheless, simmering in the subtext.
Summary: Boasting two incredibly tender performances, Simon Hunter’s upbeat Scottish ramble not only showcases Scotland in all its vast rugged beauty, but does a wonderful job at challenging our social stereotypes of ageing and friendship within society.