Film and TV

Lovely, Still honors the difficult process of dealing with the loss of loved ones

A Christmas movie in September typically means either throwaway scheduling or advance Oscar positioning. And, for a while, Lovely, Still, a modest little picture from novice writer-director Nik Fackler, seems to offer little more than the slightly dismaying sight of two great old actors striving to do right by a standard senior rom-com about dating in the sunset years. Martin Landau and a glowing Ellen Burstyn plunge gamely into first-date nerves with inept counseling from kooky supporting characters, hand-holding, whispered histories, tobogganing down snowy hillsides, and the inevitable growing intimacy. Astutely placed hints begin to drop — a scary painting, a recurring nightmare, a terrified little girl — that something's not right with this sticky-sweet scenario and its Capra-esque packaging. Cinematographer Sean Kirby lights us subtly across genres, but the goal here is less to build toward the aha! jolt than to carry us slowly through the emotional experience of unfolding disaster. The acting is great, with excellent backup from Adam Scott as a brash young store manager and Elizabeth Banks as Burstyn's worried daughter. Call Lovely, Still life-affirming if you must, but its uplift is designed less to reassure than to honor the difficult process of how we deal when faced with the loss of those we have loved.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ella Taylor
Contact: Ella Taylor

Latest Stories