Italy/France, 2017, English
Principal Cast: Donald Sutherland, Helen Mirren, Christian McKay
Canadian acting legend Donald Sutherland and Academy Award winner Helen Mirren star in this wise and witty road movie set in today’s divided United States. The English-language debut of Italian director Paolo Virzì (Like Crazy), The Leisure Seeker makes an entire country its canvas and a couple of aging adventurers its lovable heroes.
Living their twilight years under the close supervision of their adult children and an array of doctors and specialists, John (Donald Sutherland; Milton’s Secret, Pride and Prejudice) and Ella (Helen Mirren; Trumbo, Woman in Gold) yearn for one last adventure. Escaping in a 1978 “Leisure Seeker” RV, the couple hits the road in an effort to reclaim some independence and spontaneity in their lives. However, the trip may not be as carefree as John and Ella anticipate; both are suffering from serious health issues, prompting their children and doctors to keep close tabs on them at all times. Yet Ella, the driving force behind the road trip down the famous Route 66, refuses to let these hindrances keep her and John from truly experiencing the world and living life on their own terms for as long as possible.
Based on the novel by Michael Zadoorian, The Leisure Seeker is a pleasure giver. Despite the sombre rationale behind Ella and John’s journey, the film brims with humour, affection, observation, and more than a little satire. Featuring standout performances from both its magnificent leads, the film unflinchingly chronicles the challenges that seniors can face, while simultaneously saluting the adventurous spirit that inspires these two to throw caution to the wind and embark on an improbable escapade together. With great respect and genuine affection for its characters, and an impressively nuanced take on the aging process as a journey of its own, The Leisure Seeker is a road trip unlike any other.