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"Survivor" for Seniors, but OH, so good!
on December 19, 2004
This is a seriously good movie, for those on the search for a serious good movie, but don't go expecting much by way of a plot. With much of it improv, it feels more like a documentary. Like "survivor for seniors." What happens if you drop a busload of very old women off in the woods and tell them to fend for themselves?
It's all very civilized, and there's not a lot of urgency about it. No pulling straws to see who gets eaten. Just a bunch of old women (and one mildly injured young one) trying to figure out how to divide an apple into 7ths while sharing the details of their lives. The most intriguing, for me, aspect of this film is that the actresses played themselves. Nonagenerian Constance Garneau was really Nonagenerian Constance Garneau, and when she weeps with fear at the thought of her impending death it doesn't feel like acting. Octagenerian Cissy Medding's bewildered grief as she faces her own fear of a life unloved and alone is not feigned.
But don't let me mislead you--this movie is not depressing. It's affirming. These old girls get along very nicely with each other and their world, and while there are no answers to the deeper dilemmas they face (we do get the sense that Constance may find hers), they manage their present challenge with an enviable bon vivant. In places, in fact, it's very funny. The interaction between Mary Meigs and Cissy Meddings when Mary reveals her awkward secret is priceless.
Good friends, good movie. I highly recommend.