Monday 11 June 2018

Film: 'Edie'

Were it not for my having depressed expectations for this, I may well have found it less satisfying than I actually did.

Sheila Hancock, a regular on British TV in years past plus a few films, and still appearing in theatre and on radio (and, incidentally, widow of the late John Thaw, best known, perhaps, for being 'Inspector Morse'), plays an 83-year old who, when clearing out old stuff following the death of her husband, comes across an old postcard sent from Scotland featuring a picture of the imposing Mount Suilvan on the far north of the Scottish mainland. She determines to travel up all the way from London and to climb it - alone.

Most of the film is set in the unspoilt, breathtaking, rocky and heathen grandeur of this area - and for me this aspect carries the film. There aren't that many films made in this location and it's here used in glorious fashion. The unusually shaped 'mountain' is, in fact, less than 2,500 feet high though its steep sides make it a genuine climbing challenge - more arduous, especially for someone of Hancock's age, than perilous.

Edie (Hancock), on her arrival by train at Inverness, immediately meets by accident a young man (Kevin Guthrie), about one third of her age, and it's agreed that he will offer his paid services as driver, climbing expert and companion (up to a point). You can easily guess that their relationship will go through the usual stages - cordial, argumentative, some lighter moments, some cool, some accidents - you know, the oft-employed formula. 

Director Simon Hunter keep things moving with no great surprises, though it always remains watchable.
It hardly needs saying that the film is essentially a vehicle for Sheila Hancock (whom I've seen live on stage a couple of times), who here does all her own film work - no body-double employed for the climbing scenes, and she fills the role with all the satisfaction one would expect from such a veteran as herself.

As I say above, it really is the Scottish scenery which carries the film. More than once it simply took my breath away, and the images get better and better as the film progresses. It's one of those films that demands to be seen given big screen treatment. 
Without these spectacular visuals I don't think I may have been so pleased with it. But as it turned out....................6.
(IMDb.............6.4 / Rotten Tomatoes.............5.8)


  1. Sounds right. I haven't looked up what I said but I think I more or less said the same. I seem to recall thinking that some of the film could have moved a bit faster to have allowed time for a more satisfactory ending. I thought it ended rather abruptly.

    1. My recollection is that you were a bit more down on it than I was, Rachel, though my memory might well be at fault.
      I liked the sudden ending. No conclusion - it left her on a literal 'high' - though I would have been interested in her descent just for the record, considering that, granted it was hardly a 'mountain' but climbers often find the descent more difficult and problematic than going up.
      However, as I suggest, without the stunning scenery I might well have lopped off a point or even a bit more.

    2. You may be right. I think I saw a few ways I would have done things differently.

  2. Physically i find handcock unsympathetic but I love her on the radio

    1. I know what you mean, JayGee. She does seem to have a fixed face which shifts only a little between playing sad and glad. She's been a radio regular since as long as I remember.

    2. I hated her hairstyle in the film. It grated on me for the entire film.

    3. I wasn't aware that she changes her hairstyle at any time for whatever role she happens to be playing, Rachel. Or is that me just being unobservant? Can't say it bothered me.