Edie (directed by Simon Hunter and screenplay written by Elizabeth O’Halloran) follows an 83-year-old woman as she treks off to climb Mount Suilven in Scotland and fulfill a life-long dream. While Edie is cliché and cheesy at times, it contains many heartfelt moments of personal triumph and well-developed character interactions. (DLH: 3/5)
Review by FF2 Media Associate Dayna Hagewood
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS.
The film begins by demonstrating the many frustrations of Edie’s life as an older woman. She is often cooped up at home and forced to take care of her ill husband who cannot speak or move on his own. When he passes away in the first few scenes and Edie’s daughter takes her to tour a nursing home, Edie (played stunningly by Sheila Hancock) decides that she has more life to live and packs her bags after deciding to achieve a near-impossible goal. Inspired by a postcard that reminds her of her father’s desire to climb Mount Suilven, she heads off to Scotland on her own to fulfill his dream (and her own).
After a sleeper-car train ride and nearly turning back, Edie arrives on the train platform in Scotland and promptly gets knocked over by a young couple rushing to catch a train. After ensuring that she is alive, the young man (Jonny, played by Kevin Guthrie) offers to give her a ride to the bus station. Despite her refusal, Jonny ends up passing Edie as she waits for the bus in the pouring rain. He rolls down his window and cheekily points out that the bus won’t arrive for another four hours. Edie reluctantly hops in his rusty car and they head to her hotel.
One mishap after another and Edie ends up forced to spend the night in Jonny’s disgusting bachelor pad. When she leaves in the morning, she runs into him again at the camping store where he works and gets swindled into hiring him for survival skill training.
While there was nothing particularly fresh or surprising about this exposition, the relationship that slowly forms between Jonny and Edie is heartfelt and relatively realistic. They get on each other’s nerves, laugh, and learn from each other throughout the course of Edie’s training. This relationship carries the film through many of its lulls and keeps the spirit high and well-meaning.
The best part about Edie is that it isn’t an easy journey for the main character. The filmmakers seem to be incredibly aware of the necessity of at least a little realism considering the impracticality of an 83-year-old woman hiking to the peak of a mountain after merely a week’s training.
Because of this, Edie becomes a film solely invested in sheer willpower and self-reliance. Whether we believe a woman of Edie’s age can mount the summit or not does not matter. What does matter is that she gets back up, tries again, and does not stop until she gets what she wants (whether that be new camping gear, a snide comment, or the ability to attempt climbing the mountain on her own).
I am gearing up to head to Yosemite and climb some of the most daunting peaks in the United States in a few weeks. Edie was a great film to put me in the necessary mindset to do so. Thus, the message of Edie struck me hard; if you keep pushing yourself as hard as you can go, you can nearly always get to the top.
Featured Photo: Edie and Jonny during one of their training sessions.
Top Image: Edie, played by Sheila Hancock.
Middle Image: A close-up of Edie.
Bottom Image: Edie at the base of Mount Suilven.
Photo Credits: Edie EPK
Does Edie pass the Bechdel-Wallace test?
Yes. At the beginning of the film, Edie’s daughter approaches her after reading some old journals. They argue about the contents of the journal, as the daughter is offended by how Edie felt during the majority of her motherhood.