“The Leisure Seeker” In theaters January 19th
Aging is not always easy and it can be more challenging if one is suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s tough on everyone involved and more than ever it’s a condition that needs more much attention to both social and medical levels.
“The Leisure Seeker” directed by Paolo Virzi starts Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren as a long time married couple who run away from their adult children for a road trip. Their kids are frantic and upset as they attempt to convince their parents to return home. As they get on the road in their beloved family camper affectionately called “The Leisure Seeker” we take the journey down memory lane with them and as the film unfolds we realize that John Spencer (played by Donald Sutherland ) is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Joan Spencer(played by Helen Mirren) is determined to relive their road trip memories one last time. As John goes from moments of clarity to not knowing where he is and sometimes forgetting Joan we can feel the pain of her loss. But Joan lives in the knowledge that he loves her and she cherishes the most when he “returns’ to her.
Many reviews are written about the film, calling it dull, predictable and you know how it will end. And so what if we know how it will end; it’s the journey of a relationship that the film explores; understanding that life moments are fleeting and some of us are blessed with moving into aging with grace and respect, others not so lucky. “The Leisure Seeker” is also about forgiveness and moving on as we experience the anger and pain that Joan encounters when John thinks Joan is the neighbor he had a long-term affair with during their marriage.
Besides being a bit too long, you might want to give “The Leisure Seeker” a chance and judge for yourself. But maybe one important message from the film is the ability to hold on the love and to fight for it, but ultimately to forgive.
“The Leisure Seeker” is directed by Paolo Virzi and is based on a novel by Michael Zadoorian with the screenplay written by Stephen Amidon, Francesca Archibugi, Francesco Piccolo and Paolo Virzi
“The Leisure Seeker” stars Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland, Christian McKay, Janel Moloney, Dana Ivey, Dick Gregory. The film opens in theaters January 19th, 2018