LATE BLOOMERS – Movie Review

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Late Bloomers is an admirable first feature directed by Lisa Steen from a script written by Anna Greenfield. The film is a most unusual buddy dramady that tracks a blooming friendship between two unlikely bedfellows — two disparate women who first encounter each other as roomies in the hospital. First there is Louise (Karen Gillan), a 28-year old down and out musician who shares an apartment in Brooklyn and who deems herself a loser. She has no job. She’s stalking the boyfriend who broke up with her a year ago. She represses her emotions, hiding severe fear and anger behind a gently sarcastic humor. And, she is a gentle soul who has a hard time saying no to whatever she’s asked to do.

Then, there is Antonina (Margaret Sophie Stein, aka Malgorzata Zajaczkowska in her native Poland), a willful, mean tempered senior citizen who speaks only Polish, defies any attempt to control her erratic behavior, is rapidly approaching dysfunctional senility and is so extremely aggressive towards Louise that the nurses must move her to a different hospital room.

As it turns out, both women are discharged from the hospital at the same time and wind up waiting together at a bus stop for a delayed bus. Louise hails a taxi. It’s clear that Antonina doesn’t have a way to get home, so Louise takes pity and offers the curmudgeonly elder a ride. That cab ride turns into Louise’s odyssey to find a safe place for Antonina to live long term. And that odyssey also leads Louise to address her own emotional needs and discover her own agency.

Late Bloomers is a soulful film that gives way to compassionate consideration of some heart heavy subjects like loneliness, abandonment, self esteem and the agonies of aging. The story has enough quirky embellishments to to be thoroughly engaging throughout. And the performances by Karen Gillan as Louise and Margaret Sophie Stein as Antonina are so utterly charming that you can’t help rooting for their endearingly troubled characters to find their way to joy.

FILM DETAILS: Title: Late Bloomers Director: Lisa Steen Release Date: June 7, 2024 Running Time: 99 minutes Language: English and Polish with English subtitles Screenwriter: Anne Greenfield Distribution Company: Vertical Entertainment
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