Starring: Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Cynthia Nixon
Director: Richard Loncraine
It has been a while since we have seen Richard Loncraine in the director's chair but he has made a return this week with new film Ruth & Alex - known as 5 Flights Up in the U.S.
Ruth & Alex is an adaptation of the novel Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment and sees Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman take on the title roles, as they team up with Loncraine for the first time.
Ruth (Keaton) and Alex (Freeman) have been Brooklyn residents since the 1970s and have witnessed their surroundings change beyond imagination. But when the reality of living five flights up with old age bedding in starts to hit home, they find themselves at the eye of the storm that is the New York real estate game - a game they have never learned to play.
In recent years, we have seen movies such as Quartet and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel explore the theme of getting older and have found and audience and success on the big screen. I have my fingers crossed that Ruth & Alex also enjoys some of that success because it really is a very charming movie.
Some may argue that Ruth & Alex is a movie that doesn't really go anywhere - and to a certain extent that is true - but it is a movie that examines getting older and the decisions and choices that have to be made.
What is so fantastic about this film is that it is a straightforward and simple story about an older couple who are toying with the idea of moving - to better suit their needs as they do get older. It is great to see a movie that is plain, simple, and explores real life - there are plenty of themes and ideas that many will relate to as they watch this film.
Of course, the film's greatest asset comes in the form of Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton - two of the big screen's greatest actors - who both deliver fantastic, funny, and incredibly touching performances in the central roles.
The chemistry between Keaton and Freeman is just wonderful - they really do feel like they are an old married couple as they are totally in step and in tune with each other from start to finish. It is this central relationship that really pulls you in to the story and you find yourself rooting for them from the very moment that you meet them.
While Loncraine has created a very beautiful looking movie - the city of New York looks fantastic - he really has taken a step back when it comes to directing his lead actors and let them do their thing... and it has worked out perfectly as Keaton and Freeman are just a joy to watch.
I like the exploration of the mundane and every day and there is something incredibly truthful and real about the characters and the story that Loncraine, Keaton, and Freeman are trying to tell.
For me, Ruth & Alex is an adult story about real people and real emotions - a welcome breath of fresh air during this summer film season of blockbusters, special effects, and out of this world stories. Ruth & Alex is a charming and heartwarming drama that is really not to be missed if you are looking for a film where the lead actors are on top form.
Ruth & Alex is out on DVD now.