Earlier this week at New Farm Six Cinemas, I watched Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland's new movie The Leisure Seeker, a film by Italian director Paolo Virzi.
The story follows John and Ella Spencer as they take one last road adventure in their 1975 Winnebago Indian RV, which they affectionately named, The Leisure Seeker.
Ella wants to fulfil John's lifelong wish to visit Hemingway House before his Alzheimer's completely takes him away from her or her cancer takes her away from him.
Much to their adult children's distress, their impulsive trip / escape takes them from Boston to the Florida Keys and many scenic beaches and camping grounds in-between. They watch family slides under a blanket of stars as Ella shares a lifetime of memories with John. Just hoping that one of the photos will bring him back to her, even if it is just for a moment or two.
The Leisure Seeker addresses Alzheimer's and its effect on not only the sufferer, but also the loneliness and frustration felt by their loved ones. It is a simple but tender story about an aging couple on their last legs, who after 50 years of marriage would rather die than be separated.
The film had lots of funny moments and some very teary ones too. It never seems to gain momentum but rather chugs along slowly making you smile, cry and want to take better care of your parents.
Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland are both unfailingly believable and heartbreaking. Brilliant performance from two iconic actors.
In all honesty, I probably wouldn't have been drawn to watch a film about two oldies with health issues on a road trip but I am grateful I did. It's a moving love story and one I feel most people will relate to sooner or much later.