FINDING YOUR FEET: Starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Joanna Lumley. Directed by Richard Loncraine. Rated M (Coarse language) 111 mins.
WE all deserve a second chance in life, don’t we?
Whether that means giving someone else a second chance by forgiving them for their mistakes or giving yourself a second chance at discovering who you truly are.
Directed by Richard Loncraine (Band of Brothers), Finding Your Feet is a genuine and heart-felt tale that gives us much insight into some of those real-life themes by taking us on a personal journey with Sandra Abbott.
Played by Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix), Sandra Abbott is a well-respected wife of a high-achieving husband, living the high life amongst some of society’s finest when one day her world is turned upside down as she discovers that her husband of 35 years has been having an affair with one of her best friends.
Devastated, she leaves home immediately to seek refuge in London with her older sister Bif (Celia Imrie – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel).
Lady Sandra finds herself in unfamiliar territory, living in a dingy old apartment in the city as opposed to her sizeable country mansion.
Her relationship with her older sister is rekindled after a few years apart, and they both soon realise why that was the case.
With Bif being an outspoken, fun-loving, free-spirited woman and Sandra coming from the higher echelon of society, the two fail to see eye to eye on many fronts.
Desperate to see her younger sibling come out of herself a little, Bif drags the reluctant Sandra to her weekly dance class where she meets fellow senior citizens Charlie (Timothy Spall), Jackie (Joanna Lumley) and Ted (David Hayman).
After some more resistance, Sandra begins to soften her heart to this new life and new entourage.
She reaches a new level of friendship with her sister by allowing her into the deeper parts of her life, also striking a special friendship with Charlie who helps her to see that life is an adventure to be lived to the full.
Soon enough, Sandra is faced with a definitive choice as to whether she should return home to her daughter and grandson or take full flight of this free way of living.
Director Richard Loncraine does well to captivate the audience by diving head first into the initial drama of the affair and giving the audience a taste of the emotional turmoil that such news can be.
This is beautifully portrayed by Imelda Staunton whose character the audience can genuinely feel for. This is balanced with a healthy dose of occasional humour that keeps the film light-hearted despite its heavy themes, with the comic relief coming mainly from Bif and certain interactions between characters invoking some priceless sassy moments.
Through Sandra’s journey, there is a clear message about what one can do to face the hardships of life. It is through Sandra’s decision to look again and her choice to submit herself to unfamiliar things, that she is able to find her true identity again, blending the old with the new to pursue fullness of life.
In the process, there are further tough choices and sacrifices to be made but without those there can’t be any new life.
Needless to say the film should be very appealing to those in the higher age range but the messages are still valuable for the younger audiences.
Finding your feet ticks all the right boxes for a drama-comedy without bringing anything fresh to the table, but it is sure to take you on a journey of the heart and leave you with that “feel good” sensation.
By Arnie Hurdoyal