"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 ... See full summary »
"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 Mastroiani 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
I just finished watching Elsa & Fred and really, really enjoyed myself. However, at the same time I wonder just how many folks will go and see this neat little movie. After all, it's about two very old and rather strange people who find love in their final years...and this sort of thing isn't exactly box office gold. Most romance pictures today involve very young, very beautiful people and not people in their 80s! Frankly...I'm a bit tired of those typical love stories. Some recent films like Something's Gotta Give, The Face of Love and now Elsa & Fred have all explore relationships with folks who are neither taut, tanned nor twenty-something and I say more power to 'em!
Christopher Plummer stars as Fred--a cranky old widower who is sick to death over losing his independence and has no desire to grow old gracefully. When his daughter arranges for him to move to a new apartment, he seems content with just lying in bed...waiting to die. However, his rock-solid retirement plans are upset due to his eccentric neighbor, Elsa (Shirley MacLaine). Unlike Fred, she is vivacious and full of life--and loves to make up lies about the fantastic life she's led. To put it bluntly, she's a bit of a wacko....but a fun wacko. And, they soon decide to throw caution to the wind and enjoy their final days together.
While the ending is a bit of a downer (I gotta be honest about this), I thoroughly enjoyed the film because these two quirky characters seemed so unlike the people you normally see in movies. They are not walking clichés but older people who have needs, desires and dreams--and who refuse to grow old gracefully! Plummer and MacLaine are simply terrific and it also didn't hurt that they had a very strong supporting cast--which is surprising considering that this is a relatively low-budget film. But, despite the budget, it really doesn't skimp on anything and really delivers. Plus, it made me smile...and not enough movies do that.
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