"We made this film for an audience" declared director Simon Hunter at the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival's world premiere of 'Edie'. That begs the question "For who else would you make a film?", but Hunter subsequently explained the intention was to produce a feel-good work, and in that he has certainly succeeded.
Newly-widowed after thirty years of nursing a demanding and invalid husband, Edie Moore (Sheila Hancock) is preparing to move into an old people's home when on a whim she decides to attempt a long-held ambition to climb a Scottish mountain. She employs local camping shop owner Jonny (Kevin Guthrie) as her guide and - when it turns out she is not as prepared as she thinks she is - her trainer. The relationship between this odd couple forms much of the film.
Nowadays I am more familiar with Hancock through her duties as guest panelist on BBC Radio Four's 'Just a Minute'. But she is still a dominant screen presence, believably conveying Edie's journey from resignation, determination, despair, back again to determination. The script allows Guthrie less scope, although personally I'm happy to just sit and look at him - very few men can look sexy in a beanie hat!
Director Hunter over-eggs the pudding at times: the opening scenes featuring Edie's life as a drudge are shot almost exclusively with her dressed in dull beige against a background of constant rain and in rooms blanketed in Stygian darkness (for Heaven's sake, turn the bloody lights on!); while scenes of great emotion are accompanied by about five orchestras' worth of violins. There is more than a hint of soap opera about some aspects of the film (the sub-plot involving Jonny's girlfriend's quest for a bank loan could easily have been deleted with no loss to the viewer). But overall this is an enjoyable film and I shall probably look at it again when it turns up on television.