Elsa & Fred
The grey pound has become a driving force in cinema in recent years, with the unexpected box office success of The King’s Speech packing out matinee showings for weeks in 2010, a feat repeated more recently by The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which sat at the top of the UK Box Office charts for the best part of a month earlier this year.
Elsa & Fred is the latest chocolate box offering tapping into the increasingly populated market for those looking for something more (or less?) than the crash bang wallop of Avengers, and increasingly bloated, overblown blockbusters.
Fred, a curmudgeonly 80-year-old, moves into a new apartment following the death of his wife. Interested only in a quiet life, preferably spent resting in bed, Fred is not impressed to find himself pressed upon by his sprightly neighbour, Elsa. Flighty and possibly fantastical, Elsa is an OAP manic pixie dream girl, zinging with a zest for life, and eager to help Fred rediscover his.
With a stellar cast, led by Shirley McClaine and Christopher Plummer, this film is as pleasant and amiable as a walk in the park on a fresh spring day. Certainly it’s not perfect, playing on standard tropes found in many romantic comedies, and characters are rarely more than a stereotype, but when they are so delightfully played by Plummer and McClaine, it’s hard to see how one could fail to enjoy their company. Gentle and sweet are the words that spring to mind. There is nothing cutting edge here, nothing threatening, and that is exactly how audiences settling in to watch to Elsa & Fred will like it.
If you go to the cinema looking for something new, original or avant garde, you may just leave disappointed. If, however, you’re looking to pass a couple of pleasant hours on a Sunday afternoon, Elsa & Fred is for you – a soothing, quiet gem of a film.
Elsa & Fred is released nationwide on 1st May 2015.
Watch the trailer for Elsa & Fred here: