FINDING YOUR FEET — Review by Susan Granger

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Audience Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival, this charming British comedy is aimed specifically at a senior citizen audience, like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” When snobbish, straitlaced ‘Lady’ Sandra Abbott (Imelda Staunton) discovers that her soon-to-retire police commissioner husband (John Sessions) has been having an affair with her best friend (Josie Lawrence), she flees from social humiliation in suburban Surrey to seek refuge with her estranged, older sister Elizabeth (Celia Imrie), known as Bif. Continue reading…

Showing little sympathy for Sandra’s self-absorbed moping around her cluttered East London flat, eccentric, activist Bif urges her to join a dance class at the local community center. That’s where Sandra meets Charlie (Timothy Spall), a cheery Cockney furniture restorer who lives on a houseboat, having sold his home to pay for his Alzheimer’s-addled wife’s care in a posh nursing home.

Recalling her childhood love of dancing, Sandra learns to relish this new pastime, joining other class members (Joanna Lumley, David Hayman) in a charity-related, flash-mob performance in Piccadilly Circus. That leads to an invitation to perform in Rome, where a coin tossed in the Trevi Fountain leads to – all sorts of complications.

Weed-smoking, never-married Bif is a hedonistic hippie who chastises Sandra saying, “It’s one thing being scared of dying, it’s a whole other thing being scared of living.”

Formulaically scripted by Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft, it’s directed by Richard Loncraine (“Wimbledon”) who relies on his cast of veterans to find more in their nebulously sketched characters than was ever on the written page. And they don’t disappoint.

Graduates of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall are familiar to “Harry Potter” film fans as headmistress Dolores Umbridge and nasty Peter Pettigrew a.k.a. Wormtail.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Finding Your Feet” is a high-spirited 7, relying on sassy, solid performances and a stunning final shot.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.