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"Elsa and Fred" is the story of two people who at the end of the road, discover that it's never too late to love and make dreams come true. Elsa has lived for the past 60 years dreaming of a moment that Fellini had already envisaged: the scene in 'La Dolce Vita' at the Fontana di Trevi. The same scene without Anita Ekberg in it, but with Elsa instead. Without Marcello Mastroianni but with that love that took so long to arrive. Fred has always been a good man who did everything he was supposed to do. After losing his wife, he feels disturbed and confused and his daughter decides that it would be best if he moves into a smaller apartment where he ends meeting Elsa. From that moment on, everything changes. Elsa bursts into his life like a whirlwind, determined to teach him that the time he has left to live -- be it more or less -- is precious and that he should enjoy it as he pleases. Fred surrenders to Elsa's frenzy, to her youth, to her boldness, to her beautiful madness. And this is ... Written by
It is an english language adaptation of a successful Spanish language film from 2005 with the same title. See more »
Life is long, and when you've lived so many years, and you do things, and you don't think when you're doing them, that they matter all that much. And then one day you wake up and you realize that you managed quite a bit, and so much so that you can't even remember all of it.
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I really like Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer. So, I was pretty surprised to find them starring in "Elsa & Fred". After all, Netflix Streaming lists the two stars as (Gasp!) Marcia Gay Harden and James Brolin. Hello Netflix! James Brolin appears in only TWO scenes. I guess whoever listed "Elsa and Fred" are either Gen X or Gen Y. Otherwise, he or she would realized BOTH Shirley MacLaine AND Christopher Plummer have won Oscars! Well, yes, so has Marcia Gay Harden; but JAMES BROLIN? Anyway, the ignorance of those responsible for Netflix Streaming is the LEAST of the problems with "Elsa & Fred". I do not care if Michael Radford DID win an audience award. Radford's direction is listless; and nearly the entire first half of "Elsa & Fred" plays out almost as a series of unconnected scenes. Despite the great efforts of MacLaine and Plummer, there is simply NO chemistry between them during the first half. However, once Plummer's character "comes out of his shell," the chemistry between him and Shirley MacLaine is quite touching. Unfortunately, by then, it is too late. The narrative builds no tension, even with the cliché "character in jeopardy" subplot. More engaging music would certainly have helped.
If you really want to see this type of movie done right, watch "Still Mine," with James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold. Now, THAT is a "geriatric love story" worth seeing.
Oh, I must point out, when MacClaine dresses as "Anita Ekberg," MacClaine proves she is STILL hot at 80. Sadly, I must ALSO point out that James Brolin, at 74, looks WAY too young to be convincing as MacLaine's estranged husband.
I give "Elsa & Fred" a "4".
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