Finding Your Feet – Movie Review





Directed by: Richard Loncraine

Written by: Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft

Starring: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions.  Josie Lawrence and Joanna Lumley


Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 1h 51min

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

3 Frames out of 5

By: Shari K. Green


Though the older crowd is the obvious target audience for a film like this, it can be and will be enjoyed by anyone who watches it, no matter what age the moviegoer happens to be. Richard Loncraine’s (The Missionary, Richard III, Band of Brothers) Finding Your Feet is an amusing, romantic comedy and a sweet and touching tale of two sisters reuniting after many years apart.

The reunion comes due to the fact that the younger of the two sisters, Sandra, played remarkably well by Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter, Shakespeare in Love, Vera Drake), leaves her husband, Mike (Sessions), when she catches him cheating on her with, Pamela (Lawrence), a woman Sandra thought was a friend of hers. This revelation happens when she sees them at an inopportune time at a party she and Mike are throwing for his retirement. She not only sees them kissing but then learns it has been going on for five years. It’s rather difficult to watch her be humiliated even though our first introduction to Sandra is to find her rather stuffy.

Unable to trust or stay with him, she packs her bags and heads to the only place she knows she’ll be safe, the doorstep of Bif (Imrie), her very liberal and independent-minded older sister. Actress Celia Imrie, who was also in Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Nanny McPhee, was outstanding in this part. The two actresses were believable as sisters in their authentic performances and their commitment to the roles. It was easy to like them and root for them.

It isn’t long before Bif, so named because as a little girl, Sandra couldn’t say Elizabeth, is trying to play matchmaker. Her friend Charlie (Spall) might be the perfect match for Sandra. Charlie, who lives on a houseboat after selling his home to pay for the care his ailing wife, Lilly (Sian Thomas), receives, is lonely, interesting and interested. Lilly is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, something he doesn’t share with Sandra who, after what she recently went through, wouldn’t ever want to be the other woman. Bif, Sandra, Charlie and his widowed friend Ted (Hayman), dance away the blues at a dance class Sandra can’t help but get involved in. A lot of the humor in the film comes from this class, such as a line from actress Joanna Lumley who plays their friend, Jackie. She shares with the group that she and her husband broke up over religious difference, ‘He thought he was God. I didn’t.’ Even though she’s still bitter, it’s pleasant watching the members of the dance troupe accept Sandra and for Bif to observe her slowly become more like the person she remembered her sister was before marrying the man who killed her dreams. Sandra gave her younger years to what Mike wanted to be and do and forgot who she was in the process. Bif is now tasked with bringing her back to life.

It is a tale that’s been told before but not quite in this fashion. With that said, you can see everything coming a mile away but with this cast and with the struggles the characters face, Loncraine manages to keep things fresh enough for you to stay fascinated in the story and you don’t much mind the predictable moments. The film is littered with the occasional character in a circumstance that’s heartbreaking. These situations work as well as the comedy does and when the dance troupe starts a flash mob and ends up going on a trip to Rome because of it, you’re overjoyed that Sandra has finally gotten the message that it’s time she ‘went for it.’ This is a feel-good piece, the pace is good, the dancing is believable and quite entertaining and there’s also a wonderful soundtrack that takes you through the entire film. If you’re enjoying it, it continues through the end credits with the Elkie Brooks’ song Running to the Future. I recommend. Enjoy.


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About Shari K. Green

Shari became fascinated by films when at the age of seven she saw a movie being made in front of her house. As a teenager she immersed herself in the culture of film working on stage and then became a cinephile, working in a video store. Since then she expanded into film criticism writing for the last eight years and she has now written, directed and produced several short films and is currently working on a feature film project with her production company, Good Stew Productions, which she created with a few of her friends. Her favorite movies are “The Big Chill” and “Lonely Boy” and she enjoys watching Woody Allen films above all others.

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