COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 27min
STARING: Vanessa Redgrave, Imelda Staunton, Hayley Atwell
Life coach: from left, Redgrave and Atwell
We are an ageist culture and our movies reflect that. How About You is a departure from the norm in that old people have a big, bolshie stake in it — but that doesn’t make its grumps and whiners any easier.
Based on a 1996 Maeve Binchy short story and set in an old folks’ home (never exactly a giggle, even if it is an Irish one), the screenplay revolves around the half-lives of four ill-natured inmates (Redgrave, Staunton, Brenda Fricker and Joss Ackland). They are cared for over Christmas by a canny, confident young girl (pretty Atwell, serene as Ellie) who by rights shouldn’t be there and of course is a lifesaver.
Ellie’s scrappy brood might be on the crusty side but there is plenty of strident theatrical life in them. They are a tough call to spend time with, but when she puts a rocket under them and they finally come through for each other, their age has become insignificant.