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The Leisure Seeker

Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland play Ella and John, an older married couple who are still in love and decide to take a trip in an old mobile home named “Leisure Seeker.“ Their children are shocked and worried because John has Alzheimer‘s.


After 50 years of marriage Ella and John take their old mobile home and cruise along the East Coast without notifying their son and daughter Their destination is the Ernest Hemingway house in Florida. The crux of the matter is that John, the driver, has Alzheimer‘s and his lucid moments are becoming increasingly rare. The married couple spend the night on camping areas where they project slide shows on bed sheets under the stars and old memories resurface, provided that John‘s memory allows for it. Jealousies from the past and a secret is revealed that sheds new light on the marriage.

Renowned Italian filmmaker Paolo Virzi (IL CAPITALE UMANO) chose to adapt a novel by Michael Zadoorian for his English-speaking debut. Like Virzi‘s most recent LA PAZZA GIOIA, the road movie is tailored to the actor‘s nuances. Veterans Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland are convincing as a very close couple at the epicenter of the episodic drama. Virzi and his cinematographer Luca Bigazzi (LA GRANDE BELLEZZA) give the acting duo a calm filmic framework that displays a lot of realism and does without dramatic capers. A subdued actor‘s film is the result which advances in a somewhat slow fashion and discards some of its more interesting aspects, like the US election that is mentioned in passing. ABOUT SCHMIDT did a better job at an elderly road trip and AWAY FROM HER showed love overshadowed by dimentia in a more masterful way: THE LEISURE SEEKER floats somewhere in the middle between them.

Christian Horn

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Leisure Seeker
Frankreich/Italien 2017, 112 min
Genre: Roadmovie, Love Stories, Literary Film Adaptations
Director: Paolo Virzì
Author: Francesco Piccolo, Paolo Virzì, Stephen Amidon, Francesca Archibugi
DOP: Luca Bigazzi
Montage: Jacopo Quadri
Music: Carlo Virzì
Distributor: Concorde Filmverleih
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Helen Mirren, Janel Moloney, Joshua Mikel, Kirsty Mitchell
FSK: 12
Release: 04.01.2018




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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