3 June 2012 8:34 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This week, the latest installment of Michael Apted’s fascinating Up documentary series, 56 Up, finished airing on ITV, following a frustrating three-week compartmentalisation of what will likely be shown overseas as a single feature. Less-than-ideal delivery system aside, Apted’s customary flair for judiciously incorporating previous material into the modern, ever-changing context keeps the series as socially relevant and emotionally powerful as it ever has been.

While the onset of the participants into middle-age in 42 Up and 49 Up saw them biting back at filmmaker Apted for what they perceived as an intrusion into their lives, by 56, most of them appear far more relaxed and at ease, likely explaining why all but-one – the never-present Charles – decided to take part. In theory, this general lack of conflict might slacken the human interest element, but the series, never an exercise in car-crash exhibitionism, remains deeply invested in the idea of connection, »

- Shaun Munro

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