As someone who takes a bus to go ten blocks, I can get tired just thinking about a woman who, in her eighties, decides to follow an urge to climb a mountain. Nonetheless, the film “Edie” is reasonably involving, thanks mainly to the superb performance by veteran actress Sheila Hancock in the title role and the scenic splendors of the Scotland location.
Edie, in the film directed by Simon Hunter from a screenplay by Elizabeth O’Halloran, after the death of her husband faces the intention of her daughter to shove her into a retirement home. But Edie decides to escape such a fate and take off on her own with her personal goal—to climb a Scottish Highlands mountain.
The film captures her ordeal, leavened by the aid of a sympathetic young man whom she meets—Johnny, played nicely by Kevin Guthrie. At first Edie rudely declines any assistance in her determination to go it alone.
But Johnny keeps an eye on her, and when her climb becomes imperiled by bad weather and cold, he turns up and she permits him to escort her on the remaining final trudge to the heights.
The acting by Hancock earns our involvement, even though the basic situation seems so thoroughly outlandish. There is one sequence in which Edie takes refuge in a house that she comes across in her desperation. As she rests in fatigue in walks the man whose house it apparently is, and while he offers her some food, there is zero dialogue between them during the night and morning when she departs. It seems totally absurd that there would not be some communication.
But that’s a minor quibble. The film, in addition to being a tale of adventure, in effect comes through as a contemporary nod to women’s liberation, given Edie’s determination to fulfill a goal on her own after a lifetime of caring for her husband with little to show for herself. Even though the story often seems a stretch, Hancock’s acting wins the day. A Music Box Films release. Reviewed September 6, 2019.