Taglines: Love is limitless.
Having miraculously remained 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to expose the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.
The Age of Adaline is an American epic romance fantasy film directed by Lee Toland Krieger and written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz. The film stars Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Harrison Ford, and Ellen Burstyn. The film was released on April 24, 2015.
About the Production
“Tell me something I can hold onto forever and never let go.” – Adaline
Born near the turn of the 20th century, Adaline Bowman never dreamed she would live to see the beginning of the 21st, until one seemingly magical moment saves her from death and grants her eternal youth. At the age of 29, Adaline stops aging and experiences life as no human being has before.
This remarkable twist of fate sets her on an unparalleled journey that spans for decades. She has experienced life and love through global transformations of two World Wars and the freewheeling 1960s to the conveniences of present day. Carefully concealing her secret from everyone but her aging daughter, Adaline manages momentous changes with grace, until a past relationship collides with a modern-day chance for love and threatens to expose her extraordinary history.
Actress Blake Lively, who plays Adaline Bowman, knew she had found an enchanting adventure and timeless love story the first time she read the script. “I couldn’t put it down,” she says. “It read like a beautiful novel. The story is romantic, poetic and unique.”
The actress was also excited to find an original story told from a woman’s point of view. The idea of a woman who experiences so much, so deeply, during one of the most diverse centuries in human history intrigued Lively. “Her life spans a hundred years, it crosses many different eras,” the actress says.
“Over that time, Adaline goes through love, loss, pain and joy.” Producers Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi of Lakeshore Entertainment recognized the screenplay’s potential immediately. “Everything about this script appealed to me,” says Rosenberg. “It is a true romance, which you don’t see very often. The film is about love, why it’s valuable to age and why it’s essential to die. Without that, life loses its meaning.”
Although it starts with a fantastical premise, The Age of Adaline quickly gives way to an artful and astutely observed trip through time. “It falls into the category of magical realism,” says Lucchesi. “There is a lot to be said for an original story well told. Tom and I thought this was absolutely fantastic. At this point in our lives as filmmakers, when we see something that is unique and original, we respond to it.”
A large part of the films unique point of view is in its nuanced portrayal of love in all its forms, says Lively. “There are different kinds of love stories within the movie,” she continues. “There’s the modern and apparent male-female story. There’s a more complex love story that rests in Adaline’s past and is brought to life again in her present. There’s also a deeply touching story of love between mother and daughter. Adaline’s life of love is such a beautiful journey.”
Even though the story has elements of fantasy, it is told in a simple, human fashion – which was another attraction for the actress. “It’s very much a character piece,” she says. “It is quite dramatic. We address some pretty heavy ideas and really reach for the heart.”
The film’s director, Lee Toland Krieger, made a splash in Hollywood with his previous features, The Vicious Kind and Celeste and Jesse Forever. Krieger had read the screenplay for the first time a few years earlier and it stayed with him. “The essential theme of the film was so attractive,” he says. “It is the story of a woman who has been rendered ageless by an accident. The only person who knows her secret is her daughter, who is now in her 80s. A meeting with a young man unlike any other man she’s ever met slowly pulls her out of her hermit-like existence.”
“I had never read anything that focused on the beauty of growing old,” he continues. The world we live in is so consumed with youth and vanity. I thought this was a very touching idea.”
Krieger won the producers over with a fully realized vision for the film he wanted to make. “I could tell he was a real artist,” says Rosenberg. “The more I got to know him, the more I saw that he is a gentleman as well. His preparation was astounding.”
“I had watched his two movies and was very impressed,” adds Lucchesi. “We talked through the script and his ideas and we were more impressed. There is nothing more exciting for me than meeting somebody I don’t know and thinking, this guy could be really special.”
The director was so interested in taking the helm of this modern fairy tale that he prepared a seven-minute “mood reel,” a compilation of video clips and images to illustrate his ideas for presenting the story visually. “My two other movies did not have period elements or special effects, while this has both,” he explains. “The mood reel touched on how I wanted to approach all the visual aspects of the film, and how the theme would be expressed through the alchemy of the film’s aesthetics.”
Krieger shared the “mood reel” with the filmmakers, “It assured us that he had the sensitivity and the artistry we needed,” says Lucchesi. “He reminds me of Sam Mendes or Anthony Minghella. There’s a painterly quality to his movies. He loved the material and felt very confident he could pull it off.”
It also convinced Lively that he was the right director. “It was so powerful,” says Lively. “I wanted to jump in and live in that that world. His vision was unique, emotional and provoking. His passion for this project carried all of us throughout.”
Although the film visits many time periods, the story is squarely focused in the present. “It’s not a procedural where in the ’20s, this happened and in the ’30s that happened and so on,” says Lucchesi. “It’s a big-idea movie about what it might feel like not to age. Adaline is at an ideal age for her entire life. You would think that that would be the greatest thing in the world—to look the best you will ever look, to be intelligent and fully formed and never age a day. But as Adaline sees her own child mature and grow older, she begins to wish she could have taken that journey as well.”
Lively says the film is unlike any she’s ever seen in its exploration of that idea. “It’s about love and loss and what they mean if you were able to live forever,” she says. “Is that a gift or is it a curse? I walked away from Adaline’s story thinking that life happens exactly the way it’s supposed to. To live
life surrounded by the people you love, to come and go with them, that feels like the perfect order to me.”
The Age of Adaline
Directed by: Lee Toland Krieger
Starring: Harrison Ford, Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Amanda Crew, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Lynda Boyd
Screenplay by: J. Mills Goodloe, Salvador Paskowitz
Production Design by: Claude Paré
Cinematography by: David Lanzenberg
Film Editing by: Melissa Kent
Costume Design by: Angus Strathie
Set Decoration by: Shannon Gottlieb
Art Direction by: Martina Javorova
Music by: Rob Simonsen
KHAA Rating: PG-13 for a suggestive comment.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: April 24, 2015