The Leisure Seeker (2018)
A runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker.
Where: Odeon Brighton
When: Thursday 26th April
Snacks: White chocolate and macadamia nut cookies from Subway
I don’t know if I can immediately think of anything more tragic than losing a loved one to dementia. All those memories and all that life built around a person who at times can’t even remember your name or the names of your children. It must be heart-breaking.
For Ella Spencer (Mirren), who is losing her husband John (Sutherland) to the disease, it certainly is. And while she cares for her beloved, she is also battling her own illness – a cancer that is slowly killing her.
One day, her children Will and Jane rock up to visit their folks only to find them gone, AWOL in their trusty rust-bucket Winnebago, the titular Leisure Seeker. Panic stricken, the kids find it very hard to understand the motivation of our geriatric heroes but all Ella wants is to take her husband down to Hemingway’s house and spend one last vacation just the two of them.
What follows is a heart-warming road trip that brings our couple closer than ever while simultaneously testing their bond and flipping what Ella knows of their relationship on its head. It’s funny, sad and empowering at the same time and I really enjoyed the ride, though I must admit it took me a little while to get into it.
While the cinematography is stunning – all those burnt sunsets and late night outdoor dates – the dialogue sometimes gets a bit dull. The acting could never be faulted in the hands of two such seasoned acting veterans but the actors playing the kids aren’t great (not that they get much material). The ending is shocking and very bleak but also kind of perfect, when you really think about it.
Not a first date movie, maybe but there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours contemplating your own mortality.