Tag Archives: Richard Loncraine

5 Flights Up

It’s the mid 1970’s … Alex Carver (played by Morgan Freeman) carries his new wife Ruth (by Diane Keaton) over the threshold of their new apartment. It’s in a dodgy part of Brooklyn, it’s run-down and up five flights of stairs with no elevator, but it’s home. Alex, an artist, makes himself a perfect studio in the bright spare bedroom and Ruth, a teacher, fills the rest of their living space with books. Since then, they’ve made a very happy and settled life for themselves and love the neighbourhood. These days, it’s starting to get very trendy to live in Brooklyn and Alex and Ruth realise their lovely apartment may be an attractive investment for young buyers wanting to move into the area. Besides, time is marching on and those five flights of stairs are a challenge for them both these days – as well as their little dog, Dorothy. Although they are now both retired, Ruth and Alex still love their life together – Alex has his art and still actively paints, while Ruth loves her books. They are still deeply love with each other too. Ruth’s sister had some health problems last year and her real estate agent niece, Lily Portman (by Cynthia Nixon), has since taken on the task to list Alex and Ruth’s property to remove them from the “five flights of stairs”. Alex and Ruth are interested to see what their property might be worth on the market so they go along with Lily’s plans. They open their beloved home to interested buyers and watch with dismay as strangers trudge critically through their apartment. At the same time, Dorothy undergoes some expensive surgery at the animal hospital. Ruth and Alex go apartment hunting in Manhattan, where they actually find something they like and can afford. Maybe a move isn’t such a bad idea after all?

This is a very sweet movie. As artist Alex, Morgan Freeman is strong and thoughtful – which makes him a very interesting character. As young Alex, Korey Jackson is very nice. Similarly, Diane Keaton brings her best quirky and lovable performance to the role of Ruth – she has marvellous style and is a sweet caring person. The “nerdy” young Ruth is very well portrayed by Claire van der Boom. It is also great to see both Cynthia Nixon and Carrie Preston here. Nixon has the relentlessly positive real estate agent Lily, down to a tee – she’s perfect for it. For me, Carrie Preston has most recently been seen in television’s “The Good Wife”, and she is just as likeable here as Miriam Carswell, Lily’s peer and would-be competitor in the New York City real estate game. The movie has been released in the UK as “Ruth and Alex” – it’s based on the novel Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment. It’s not deep or terribly meaningful, but it’s a good movie. It has been awarded in the 2016 AARP Movies for Grownups Awards as the Best Grownup Love Story and that’s true. I enjoyed it.

Made in 2014. Directed by Richard Loncraine.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 27, 2016 in Movies


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Jack Stanfield (played by Harrison Ford) has a very happy life in Seattle. He’s married to his architect wife Beth (by Virginia Madsen) and they have two great children, Sarah and Andy (by Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett). Jack has worked at the same bank for over twenty years and he has risen to the post of Chief of Security. He knows the bank’s computer system inside out – in fact, he’s developed most of the security software himself. One day, Jack is mystified to discover his personal security is compromised when someone posing has him runs up a huge online gambling debt – and from that point things start to get a bit strange. A business associate Bill Cox (by Paul Bettany) insists that Jack drives Bill to his home, without explaining why – when they arrive, Jack realises this is no ordinary business colleague.  Bill has designs on robbing the bank and plans to use Jack as the instrument with all the computer knowledge to commit the cybercrime for him.  However, Jack is prepared to do anything he needs to just to make sure his family are safe …..

This is a great movie.  The drama is well paced, the stunts are effective without being over the top and the performances are all great.  Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen work well together on screen and Paul Bettany is an excellent white collar criminal – violent when he needs to be, cool, calculating but also just a little too greedy for his own good.  Jack’s colleagues at the bank are all well portrayed by Mary Lynn Rajskub, Alan Arkin and Eric Keenleyside – these are all strong support roles.  Actually, the direction and plot development does twist a little and at times the viewer may develop suspicions in people which turns out to be unfounded later in the story.  It’s good, plausible story, very entertaining and I enjoyed it.

Made in 2006.  Directed by Richard Loncraine

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Movies


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,