Elderly Edie (Hancock) has spent most of her life catering for her husband despite not loving him. After he suffered a stroke she stayed with him out of duty. When he dies Edie’s daughter (Morgan) makes shapes to usher her into an old folk’s home but Edie isn’t done yet. Not by a long shot. She hops on a train to Scotland with hopes of scaling Mount Suilven, employing the reluctant Jonny (Guthrie) as a guide…
he fighting spirit of the elderly is a recurring theme of late with sombre dramas Amour, 45 Years and Song For Marian, and likeable romps like Quartet, Finding Your Feet, The Lady In The Van, and the Marigold Hotel movies enjoying success. But it’s the latter that Edie leans on with Sheila Hancock’s Edie doing her best acerbic Maggie Smith. But while the sharp-tongued Edie is just as pushy and determined as Smith in Van and the Marigold outings she isn’t given the same quality lines as Smith enjoyed.
he film is a quiet affair, which is fine, but there’s a difference between low-key and underpowered. The writing makes a grave mistake of not isolating Edie and Jonny, instead preferring to push them up the mountain on practice runs before retreating back to the town for a pint and a rest; it’s only much later when Edie treks off alone. Where director Simon Hunter shines is showing the Scottish Highlands in all its stark glory: it might be grey and empty but it’s beautiful.
hecking off its clichés as it goes (the soundtrack is at pains to underline the emotion one is supposed to feel) it’s really only Hunter’s Scotland and Hancock’s performance to keep one entertained.