Following a car accident in 1935 in which she almost dies, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) becomes “immune to the ravages of time”, spending eight decades without ageing another day. In modern-day New York, she passes as a poised, elegant 29-year-old woman, but in reality she is more than 100. She lives a solitary existence, changing her identity every decade and never allowing herself to grow close to anyone, fearing they’ll reveal her secret. The only person in the world who knows about her condition is her ageing daughter, Flemming (Ellen Burstyn).
However, everything changes at a New Year’s gala. Adaline meets the kind and charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), who breaks through her defences and into her heart. But when a weekend with Ellis’ parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to reveal her secret, Adaline can no longer continue running – she must make a choice.
The Age of Adaline is a captivating and sensory journey through time and space, into the world of a woman with a remarkable secret, but who in her heart, is just like anyone else. Blake Lively convincingly portrays a woman who craves love and connection, and a place to finally rest.
There are pseudo-science and mystical elements to this story that make the film more than just a typical romance. The present-day narrative is punctuated with beautiful scenes drifting back through various decades of history, showing Adaline falling in love with different men, only to run away to keep her secret safe.
The Age of Adaline serves somewhat as a self-help guide to life, love and courage, demonstrating that even the grandest and most beautiful eternal life is nothing without life-long love.