A beautiful and rousing cross-country adventure, The Leisure Seeker from Italian director Paolo Virzì finds an aging couple gone rogue on an unforgettable road trip in an equally aging Winnebago.
Living their twilight years under the close supervision of their adult children and an array of doctors and specialists, John (Donald Sutherland, Pride and Prejudice) and Ella (Helen Mirren, Trumbo; Eye in the Sky) yearn for one last adventure. Escaping from their would-be captors in a 1978 “Leisure Seeker” RV, the couple hits the road in an effort to reclaim some independence and spontaneity in their lives. However, the trip may not be as carefree as the couple anticipates; both are suffering from serious health issues, prompting their children and doctors to keep close tabs on them at all times. Yet Ella, the driving force behind the road trip down the infamous Route 66, refuses to let these hindrances keep her and John from truly experiencing the world and living life on their own terms for as long as possible.
Infused with wry humour and sincere emotion, The Leisure Seeker is a poignant observation of how getting older can often be a contentious process for parents and children alike, as dynamics change and relationships shift. Featuring standout performances from both its magnificent leads, the film unflinchingly chronicles the challenges that seniors can face, while simultaneously saluting the adventurous spirit that inspires these two to throw caution to the wind and embark on an improbable escapade together. With great respect and genuine affection for its characters and an impressively nuanced take on the aging process as a journey of its own, The Leisure Seeker is a road trip unlike any other.
“The canon of Alzheimer’s films doesn’t lack for performances piled up with compassion and fine-grained observation, from Iris all the way to Still Alice. But as their faded Winnebago wends its way to the coast, Ella and John show there’s room for two more.” (Robbie Collin, The Telegraph)
“The Leisure Seeker is dry-eyed even at its most moving and a celebration of love even as it reaches its end.” (John Bleasdale, CineVue)