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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Finding Your Feet movie review: it’s never too late for a fresh start in life

Finding Your Feet green light

MaryAnn’s quick take…

A tart, sharp, life-affirming dramedy, one that is slightly more edgy and far less predictable than it probably has any right to be. Celia Imrie and Imelda Staunton are magnificent.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for movies about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
women’s participation in this film
male director, female coscreenwriter, female protagonist
(learn more about this)

When snooty, stick-up-her-butt Sandra discovers that her husband is cheating on her just as they were about to retire — something Sandra has been planning for the past 35 years — she escapes from her English countryside manor to London, to the cosy, cramped public-housing flat of the freespirited sister, Bif, she hasn’t seen in decades. Sandra seems pretty awful at first, just plain horrible and rude even as she busts her way into Bif’s life uninvited, and precisely as we’re about to grumble, “Who the hell do you think you are?” Bif does so herself. Hooray! That sets the stage for the tart, sharp, but ultimately life-affirming dramedy to come, one that is slightly more edgy and far less predictable than it probably has any right to be.

Get busy dancing, or get busy being a wallflower of life.

Get busy dancing, or get busy being a wallflower of life.

A further wonder of Finding Your Feet, from Wimbledon director Richard Loncraine, is that it’s easy to imagine either of his two magnificent stars, Celia Imrie (A Cure for Wellness) and Imelda Staunton (Paddington 2), in either role. Staunton (not that it matters, but she plays Sandra) and Imrie (as Bif) shape the surface clichés of both characters into complex, warm portraits of women struggling with the challenges of later life, but also rejoicing in the freedom that comes with throwing off the assumptions of others and ensuring that they’re making the most of the years they have left… though they may decide they want different things out of them. (Screenwriters Nick Moorcroft [Urban Hymn] and Meg Leonard [her first] deserve some of the credit, too, of course.)

Uplifting yet never sappy, and with a cast including the always entertaining Timothy Spall (Early Man) and Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie), this is an unexpected treat.

Click here for my ranking of this and 2018’s other releases.

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green light 4 stars

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Finding Your Feet (2018) | directed by Richard Loncraine
US/Can release: Mar 30 2018
UK/Ire release: Feb 23 2018

MPAA: rated PG-13 for suggestive material, brief drug use, and brief strong language
BBFC: rated 12 (moderate sex references, drug misuse, infrequent strong language)

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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