Imelda Staunton dances past heart­break of af­fair

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - MOVIES - By Guy Lodge

For a film as os­ten­si­bly bouncy as “Find­ing Your Feet,” there’s an aw­ful lot of death in it.

That’s no bad thing. As Richard Lon­craine’s good­na­tured golden-years com­edy zips through zero wed­dings and a cou­ple of fu­ner­als, the light pres­sure of mor­tal­ity on pro­ceed­ings gives an oth­er­wise silly, sen­ti­men­tal af­fair a glanc­ing con­nec­tion with real life and its lim­its: It’s the kind of feel-good cin­ema that at least pays lip ser­vice to other feel­ings.

Star­ring Imelda Staunton as a wronged so­ci­ety wife forced to drop her airs and gain some oxy­gen when she moves in with her free­wheel­ing boho sis­ter (a sparkling Celia Im­rie), “Feet” rests pleas­antly enough on its mild Sun­day-lunch charms and the un­strained gifts of a tony en­sem­ble.

It’s not every day that Timothy Spall gets to flex his mus­cles as a ro­man­tic lead. From the se­cond his char­ac­ter Char­lie, a cheery MPAA rat­ing: PG-13 (for sug­ges­tive ma­te­rial, brief drug use, and brief strong lan­guage) Run­ning time: 1:49 Opens: Fri­day Cock­ney fur­ni­ture re­storer, brushes shoul­ders with haughty so­cial climber Lady San­dra Ab­bott (Staunton), we know the thick, mus­tardy layer of in­stant an­tag­o­nism be­tween them isn’t long for this world: “Find­ing Your Feet” hits its ro­man­tic­com­edy beats with clock­work ef­fi­ciency.

Not that San­dra is eas­ily brought out of the funk that fol­lowed her dis­cov­ery of a years­long af­fair be­tween her hus­band, Mike (John Ses­sions), and one of her best friends.

Un­able to face the so­cial hu­mil­i­a­tion in her mon­eyed coun­try­side com­mu­nity, she turns up at the shabby north Lon­don apart­ment of her es­tranged older sis­ter El­iz­a­beth, with the in­ten­tion of drink­ing her­self into a stu­por.

El­iz­a­beth, a never-mar­ried mis­fit with a wide ar­ray of odd­ball friends and lib­eral causes, in­stead pre­scribes se­nior-cit­i­zens danc­ing classes, where San­dra and Char­lie find more than just a good waltz­ing rhythm to­gether.

It’s thanks more to Staunton’s vul­ner­a­bil­ity as a per­former than to the over-tidy re­ver­sals of Nick Moor­croft and Meg Leonard’s script that San­dra thaws as sym­pa­thet­i­cally as she does, since she’s a pretty bit­ter pill to be around for the first act.

But “Find­ing Your Feet” has lit­tle time for stay­ing put, or set in one’s ways: It’s a story that shows time to be of the essence in mul­ti­ple ways, as its char­ac­ters, all with their own hid­den pock­ets of tragedy, frankly set about en­sur­ing they don’t die an­gry, lonely or with­out ever hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in a dance flash­mob in Pic­cadilly Cir­cus.

The re­wards in “Find­ing Your Feet” are ones of sprightly hu­man chem­istry rather than great nar­ra­tive dis­cov­ery, of all-round good hu­mor rather than out­right hi­lar­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.