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It’s fair to say that Hollywood doesn’t have the healthiest relationship with the concept of ageing. This, after all, is the place where everything, from the eyelids to the armpits to the genitals, can be surgically “rejuvenated”. So it’s perhaps not surprising that the majority of films that deal with the elderly take the Hollywood anti-ageing mantra – denial, denial, denial, death – as their narrative structure. And even if death is avoided, you can bet that terminal disease will get a substantial supporting role.
This is the case with The Leisure Seeker. Southern belle Ella (Helen Mirren, sounding like she’s gargling with gumbo) and her husband, John (Donald Sutherland), take their trusty Winnebago on a road trip. But she is bunking off from a hospital appointment and he is suffering from a conveniently intermittent form of dementia. It’s immediately clear that this is the trip of an end of lifetime. Every other shot feels like it’s being photobombed by the grim reaper.
Perhaps surprisingly, given that it’s riddled with cancer and sodden with incontinence, the plot isn’t the most depressing thing about the film. That honour goes to the fact that two such eminent actors are not getting better roles, and that a whole generation of older audience members looking for stories that reflect their own are not getting better choices.
Source: The Guardian
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