We're None of Us Getting Younger . . . .

Saw Michael Apted's 49 Up with the b.w. the other night. We've been following the series for 21 years now. I bought her the boxed set that goes up to 42 Up a few birthdays ago, so you can see we're pretty hardcore on this. Indeed, it wouldn't be much of a fighting point to suggest that these films are by far Apted's best work. (What then? His Bond movie?)

The new film is nicely judged and structured, as usual. Everyone from the last two films is back. They all look a bit more haggard, heavier, jowlier. There are several sets of grandkids and a few surprises but, as Margo observed over breakfast, nobody has changed much in the past seven years. Still, it's never dull and although the aging process -- loss of parents, loss of powers -- gives the new film a certain autumnal feeling, it's no more depressing than running into an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend who has put on 40 pounds. (Or looking in the mirror while shaving.)

What I found fascinating personally was how many of the people who I thought would turn out to be "Upper-Class Twit of the Year" contestants have turned into fairly decent human beings. Maybe Hepburn is right in The Philadelphia Story when she says, "The time to make up your mind about people is never."

At any rate, First Run Features has already released the DVD, which includes an excellent interview with Apted by Roger Ebert (although there is some strange machine noise in the background throughout their talk) and the film, surprisingly since it's the first one Apted shot on video, is probably the best-looking in the whole series. Of course, that's a good reason to try to see it in a theater. Either way, the DVD is a good investment, especially if you have been following the series.

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