At best movies reflect our reality. In Late Bloomers, which runs through Thursday at 7 and 9 PM, Adam and Mary are forced to confront a new stage in their lives where they are inextricably old. The stellar actors who portray them, William Hurt, 62, and Isabella Rossellini, 59, must understand what their characters are going through.
Hurt and Rossellini are of the cinematic generation that burst into stardom on the silver screen in the heady days of the 1980’s, a time we tend to look back on poorly in photos but fondly in movies. Hurt, a graduate of the
, broke out in the 1981 neo-noir classic Body Heat in which he played an incompetent lawyer out to kill the husband of his mistress. In 1985, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his depiction of an effeminate homosexual in Kiss of the Spider Woman. He was also nominated for his performances in Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987). Since then, he has largely cut his teeth on stage or in commanding supporting performances in such movies as Artificial Intelligence, Syriana, and Into the Wild. Juilliard Drama School
Isabella Rossellini took a much more circuitous route to film fame than her on screen partner. A native Roman, but the daughter of Swedish icon Ingrid Bergman, she has long cultivated a cosmopolitan and eccentric appeal that has accentuated her successful modeling career. Besides her famous work as a model, Rossellini emerged full-fledged into the world of film in 1985 (the same year as Hurt) in White Nights. Rossellini is most famous for her intense performance in the 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet, in which she played a tormented cabaret singer. After reaching cinematic success in the mid- 1980’s, she has helped shape many independent films, shows, and documentaries which have garnered her an offbeat, trendy, following.
Two establishment stars who became famous for their on-screen vivacity in the 1980’s now share the spotlight in a grey-haired movie about the significance of aging and how it affects long-standing relationships. Adam (Hurt) chooses the path of denial and renewed vigor rather than supplicate to his newfound status as a senior; he bristles at the idea of being past-his-prime as a top
architect. Mary, in completely un-Rossellini fashion, eagerly submits herself into the realm of the old woman, even buying hand rails for the bathroom and telephones with embarrassingly large keypads. Neither character is totally confident in their approach, but the anxiety they both feel over their age starts to slowly confine their minds into an inescapable existential crisis and severely disrupt their marriage. London
It’s fascinating to watch two formerly glamorous actors who movie-lovers have become so accustomed to wrestling with the fact of their own mortality. Imagine Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie doing the same in 20 years and you’ll understand just how jarring and captivating a picture this is. Late Bloomers isn’t a victory lap for its stars, or a shallow escape like The Bucket List, it’s a sober, clever, and deeply human reflection on life in the growing face of death.
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