MOVIE REVIEW – The Leisure Seeker starring Helen Mirren & Donald Sutherland
Review by Geoff Jenke
John (Donald Sutherland) and Ella (Helen Mirren) Spencer have almost reached the end of the road. John’s memory is failing and Ella is frail. They decide to hop on board their 1975 Winnebago campervan, nicknamed the Leisure Seeker for one last trip to Florida Keys to visit the house of John’s hero Ernest Hemingway. They don’t tell their two children they are going, causing anxiety, especially with the son, who constantly freaks out about the parents being missing.
The Leisure Seeker is a predictable “road movie”. Once one grasps the concept of the movie, there is only one way it will end, but getting to the end is a pleasant journey. Most of the film has Helen and Donald on screen and thankfully they hold the scenes beautifully. Donald plays the role of John, suffering from Dementia, wonderfully. The moments when he remembers family and friends are beautiful.
However, without the lead pair, one feels the movie would just sink. They are dynamo’s that hold it together with their humour and magnificent acting, even with Helen Mirren’s American accent, which was quite good.
Their trip has a few adventures along the way that are amusing and while they don’t add a lot to the movie, make you smile. Although set in 2016, 1970’s and 60’s music fills the screen with tracks by Carol King, Janis Joplin and the like.
The film is a little like On Golden Pond, with Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, except this one is mainly filmed in a campervan. However, it is a worthwhile trip.