I was very lucky to be invited to the premiere of Edie at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last night and can honestly say it's one of the most incredible films I've seen. Its beauty lies in many things, but chiefly the relationship between the lead character of Edie (Sheila Hancock) and Jonny (rising star, Kevin Guthrie), two people from vastly different generations, that grows as the story progresses and tugs at your heart and mind.
Edie makes you think about your own relationships with the 'elderly' people that are in or have graced your life and shows that age doesn't matter; we can all learn and have bonds with those older and younger than us.
There are many other relationships that come under inspection in the film, from the domineering influence on Jonny of his girlfriend, to the old friend who's bad news but Jonny can't shake off. The tense relationship between Edie and her daughter is one that many will recognise and reflect on.
The sense of adventure that envelopes Edie, released after a life spent in the majority under a cloud of command delivered by her husband, is one that many of us feel, but too few put into action, and for many, when they realise that, it can be too late. Not for Edie, who decides to tackle one of Scotland's toughest climbs, Suilven. That journey becomes the focal point of the film, with all of the relationships and soul searching I mentioned earlier perfectly intertwined throughout.
The other magical beauty of this film is Scotland. The landscapes and nature this film capture are truly awesome and incredibly shot. As a Scot you can't help but feel proud, but also I did feel pangs of guilt for not having seen more of my own backyard! There's plenty time left and I'll be exploring it with my family.
Sheila Hancock delivers the performance of a lifetime, she's an absolute legend, who at 84 offers a strong reminder that age is but a number. Her delivery of humour, emotion and duress is impeccable.
Kevin Guthrie, who appears in the upcoming Dunkirk, was the perfect choice for the part of Jonny, appearing beside an actor of the experience and skill of Sheila must be daunting, but he more than held his own. I was lucky enough to chat to both Sheila and Kevin after and the mutual fondness was very clear to see.
The supporting actors are strong, particularly that of McLaughlin, played by Paul Brannigan, who delivers the 'loveable rogue' character with aplomb, the sort of pal you want and don't want at the same time!
I cant fault Edie. I've genuinely never felt such a range of emotions while watching a film. The script, characters, direction and production a real triumph. Don't miss it and be sure to enjoy it on the big screen.