Lovely, Still review (DVD)

Some people find elderly love creepy. I can't quite fathom why certain folks feel this way (after all, we're all going to get old some day), they just do. To be contrary, like I usually am, I find the sight of an older gentleman walking down the street hand-in-hand with his wife or partner to be quite pleasant. There's a real element of charm to seeing two people in their twilight years share the strength of their precious – and at times lifelong – companionships. Writer-director Nik Fackler would seemingly agree with me as his debut feature is precisely a story about love between an elderly man and woman.

Robert Malone (Landau) is alone. It's quite literally in his name. He's been by himself all his life and never experienced true love. That is until the moment he lays eyes on Mary (Burstyn), his neighbour from across the street. They become infatuated with each other and a relationship quickly blossoms, completely turning Malone's tired life around as Christmas approaches. But as the love birds settle into their new romance, things suddenly take a surprising turn and change the face of their partnership forever.

Proving that age truly is but a number, Fackler's stellar script was brought to the attention of star and executive producer Landau when the film-maker was only 21 years old. You cannot place digits on creativity in exactly the same way that you cannot place them on love, and Fackler proves that not only with his own talent, but his story.

Oscar winners Landau and Burstyn handle their characters with great conviction and deliver exceptional performances. They have a sincere chemistry and it really adds to the on-screen relationship as the picture builds to a tearful climax.

For a first-time writer-director, Lovely, Still is a fantastic debut from Fackler. It is a small film, yet one that is touching and heartwarming and bursting with emotion from beginning to end. A thoroughly enjoyable, beautiful and bittersweet drama tinged with light humour. I loved it.

EXTRAS ? Just the trailer.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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