The Age of Adaline review — Blake Lively brings cool, timeless poise to glossy romantic fantasy

Age of Adaline Blake Lively
Age of Adaline - Blake Lively as Adaline (Image credit: Diyah Pera)

Being 29 forever might sound idyllic, but Blake Lively’s ageless Adaline Bowman counts the cost of immortality in The Age of Adaline, an elegantly glossy romantic fantasy co-starring Games of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman. Adaline’s aging is miraculously arrested in 1937 by a freak combination of a car crash, freezing water and an opportune lightning bolt. 

Thereafter, she shuns emotional attachments, changing her identity every few years lest her secret is discovered, until she finds herself persistently wooed by millionaire philanthropist Ellis (Huisman) in 2002 San Francisco. The pair’s hesitant affair isn’t that gripping, to be honest, but co-stars Ellen Burstyn (as Adaline’s 70-year-old daughter) and Harrison Ford (as Ellis’ star-struck astronomer father) provide some genuinely poignant moments. 

And Lively’s cool, timeless poise is perfect for Adaline’s melancholy reserve, crafting the aloofness of someone from a different era, who's always alone and wary of letting anyone get too close.

filmstrip showing 3 stars out of 5 light up

The Age of Adaline (2015), Certificate 12/PG-13, Runtime 1h52, Director Lee Toland Krieger.

The Age of Adaline is available to rent on Amazon, Google Play and YouTube Movies. It is also released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.