A well-made uplifting dramedy is always welcome, and Edie is sure to be a crowd-pleaser in that regard. Sometimes overly sentimental, but more often legitimately touching, this is a light and entertaining travelogue that is worth checking out if it opens at a theater near you.
The film follows an 83-year-old woman who, following the death of her husband, sets out on a journey to train for and climb Mount Suilven in Scotland with the help of a young camping shop employee. Ultimately, the movie plays out like a mixture of a buddy comedy and an underdog story, and although the ground trodden is familiar, it is enjoyable to watch nonetheless.
The pacing of the film is quite breezy, if somewhat slight. Since the story does stick so closely to the beats of the formula, the movie must rely on other means to get you absorbed, such as the character development, and for the most part, it succeeds. Most audience members will find Edie’s quest to be one that is quite compelling, particularly because of her perseverance at her elevated age.
Perhaps the most underdeveloped part of the film is the dynamic between Edie and her sidekick, Jonny. He is likable enough, but Jonny simply doesn’t have enough of an arc to be a compelling counterpart to Edie. The friendship that forms between them had a lot of room to be explored, but the movie instead focuses on Edie’s internal growth, and understandably so, just at the expense of other characters.
Additionally, the film doesn’t quite hit all of its intended emotional beats. Edie’s experiences are quite inspirational, but herein lies the emotional core of the movie. There really isn’t much more to the film in terms of emotional nuance or complexity apart from this, which is disappointing given the potential to explore other aspects of the story.
That said, the absolute highlight of the movie is Sheila Hancock in her leading role. Her performance is multi-layered and full of emotion, the main thing which elevates this film from solid to legitimately good. She has great chemistry with Kevin Guthrie, although Hancock frequently shines so bright that Guthrie is overshadowed.
On a technical level, the movie is solid, with some nice shots of the Scottish countryside, but the film isn’t spectacular. As a whole, the movie is very reserved and not particularly flashy, which is fitting given the strong human element that drives the film. Though it would have been nice had the movie taken even more advantage of its setting, it works as is.
It may stick a bit too closely to convention at times, but Edie is, for the most part, a sweet little movie. Well-acted and heartwarming, this is a film that will likely catch on with upscale older audiences who discover it at art house theaters.
Edie opens in theaters on September 6.