Elsa & Fred

Elsa & Fred

Michael Radford (2014)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Screen veterans Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer rise above the patronising cuteness imposed by co-writer/director Michael Radford (Il Postino) in this tale of a late-blossoming love affair. Elsa (MacLaine) is a septuagenarian fantasist who projects all her romantic whims - inspired by her favourite film, La Dolce Vita - onto her new next-door neighbour, the crotchety Fred (Plummer). He feels life is over at 80, and being polite is apparently a waste of time, too. Elsa's thwarted attempts to regale him with wild yarns of her youth (she insists Picasso painted her portrait, a story Fred treats with due scepticism) can make her seem like a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown rather than a woman in love. The rapport between these two fine actors develops nicely, though, as Fred is inevitably swept up in her enthusiasm. A touch of melodrama seems unavoidable, but this is a romance characterised by lightness and whimsy - not always the reserve of the youthful.


A widower faces an uncertain future after the death of his wife. He moves into a smaller flat, where he meets a high-spirited woman who teaches him to enjoy every moment. Learning she has a terminal illness, he decides to repay the favour by helping her to achieve her lifelong wish. Romantic drama, starring Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Marcia Gay Harden.

Cast & Crew

Elsa Shirley MacLaine
Fred Christopher Plummer
Lydia Marcia Gay Harden
Laverne Erika Alexander
Jack Christopher Noth
Raymond Scott Bakula
John George Segal
Max James Brolin
Director Michael Radford
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: SignatureGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 1 May 2015