Finding your Feet gives you what you expect, but it does it incredibly well. Richard Loncraine’s new film is about mid-life awakenings, and the laughs and tears that come with that, starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie and Joanna Lumley.
Staunton plays Sandra, a 60-year-old middle-class healthy snob whose life has a radical change during the retirement party of Mike, her husband, who has been having an affairwith her best friend. Poor Sandra packs her luggage and moves to the tiny apartment of her sister Bif (the charming Celia Imrie) in North London to cry, drink a little bit —actually quite a lot!— of wine and cry more. She also finds time to criticise Bif’s way of life, which is all a bit too bohemia for her. Later, Sandra meets Bif’s friends Charlie (the wonderful Timothy Spall) and joins them at their dance class (along with David Hayman and Lumley), which will eventually change her life completely.
Finding your Feet is a story that shows that time is the essence of many things: everyone has a tragic background and they want to make sure that they do not get old being angry, alone or without having participated in a dance flashmob in Piccadilly Circus.Sandra, for example, enjoys her life a lot more being a free woman than as a “Lady”, and this is a surprise for everyone, even for her.
Finding Your Feet was shot in 2016 across London (it’s nice to see very well-known places in the film such as Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street or Chinatown) and Rome (such beatiful locations), and some of its references such as the “ice-bucket challenge” or the “Gangnam Style” are small relics of a couple of years ago that makes us remember how time passes and we all get old, as happens to the characters. One might think that it’s a Christmas movie but it’s not, it is a film about life and love. Finding your Feet has funny scenes such as Bif and Sandra’s dinner at a Japanese restaurant; the scene in which the crane tries to take away Charlie’s van; or when Bif, with Sandra, asks Pru (played by a wonderful Victoria Wicks) how the water is. Lumley’s character, unrecognisable by the way, is also memorable: a inveterate divorcee with one of the best phrases in the film («My ex husband and I had religious disagreements. He thought he was God, I didn’t»).
The film ends at the perfect moment, with a funny freeze-frame: at the top of the story and its action and fair before the audience gets bored because no, unlike many romantic pictures Finding your Feet is not boring at all. Finding your Feet is a joy.