Image: Sheila Hancock as the titular character Edie [Source: IMDB]
83-year-old Edie (Sheila Hancock) is a woman who has spent her whole life in the shadow of someone else’s. Never pursuing her ambitions and dreams. But with her old age comes the final effort to conquer one last goal… Climb Mount Suilven in Scotland.
Director: Simon Hunter. Starring: Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie [12A]
Right from the get-go, Edie tells you what film this is going to be. Overly sentimental, touching, melodramatised inspiration story and utterly unapologetic about it. It’s just an all-around gooey feel-good picture and if you’re alright with that then set in for a treat.
Sheila Hancock sells every second of screen time as Edie, as a woman not only broken down by years of self-neglect but also as a woman hell-bent on what she wants. Seeing the quiet reserved old lady turn to passionately swearing in furious anger, is both rousing and organic. Again though her story is one of melodramatised sentimentality, overindulging its agenda in ways that can push the content of the plot into a contrived nature. Sometimes it is hard to get soaked up into the gooey pool of inspiring old woman conquers the wilderness, oft-times the decisions are outright ludicrous in their execution.
There is certainly a lack of narrative to get into also. The film seems to toy and tease the idea of a budding romance between Edie and the far younger guide Jonny (Kevin Guthrie) to whom she swaps stories with. While it may not be an idea people want to see in a film of this nature. I felt it would have raised some of the drama and story to a gratifying growth of character. It certainly would have added a reason to the afterthought of a side plot of Jonny and his ill-fitting, pushy and misunderstanding girlfriend. There is a lot of neglection of character, in the film and by the filmmakers. Edie at times gives insight into her life and her past but outside of a couple of moments, we are short of real development on these issues for Edie. Never a facing of problems this may have caused to her and her life.
But in its refusal to attack real drama and overindulge in its sentimental inspiring story. It does deliver on just that, Edie is a heart touching character and it is a story certainly to produce feelings of adventure and dragging out forgotten aspirations from the back of your mind. Overall Edie is a delightful tale that despite the obvious familiar footpath of narrative and lack of detailed drama – is a charming tale of a woman fulfilling a last wish.