“Finding Your Feet” is a sweet film, the sort of film that only the English seem to be able to make. It is funny, pleasant, has a lesson or two, hits the tear ducts, touches the heart, leaves you feeling good and has a cast that obviously loves their profession.
While many may not be too familiar with Imelda Staunton she is a major star of the British stage and commands the screen whether it is her Oscar-nominated starring role in 2004 for “Vera Drake” or her role as Dolores Umbridge in 2 Harry Potter films. In this film, she finds out her husband of 35 years has been having a long time affair with her best friend. She moves in with her estranged sister, Elizabeth, played by Celia Imrie who is the opposite of her. While Staunton, as Lady Sandra Abbott, and her husband, Mike, played by John Sessions, give a party celebrating his knighthood when the film opens, is the positive, faithful, proper wife. mother and grandmother her sister is a pot smoking, drinking, free love, never married hippie living in what looks like a hoarder’s apartment.
Biff, so called because when they were young Sandra couldn’t mention Elizabeth’s name, introduces her straight-laced sister to her group of oddball friends and though Sandra and Charlie, played by the very familiar Timothy Spall, don’t at first get along, you know as soon as they dance together at the local dance class that the older sister has brought her where that is going to go.
That storyline, by Nick Moorcraft and Meg Leonard, is what helps make “Finding Your Feet” the comfortable comedy-drama that would make you expect the happenings, but, also, allowing you to be moved and taken by surprise by some of the dramatic clichés. No, we don’t need another joke about Viagra or a Black man’s endowment or for that matter a White man’s lack of endowment but we smile as the women discuss the latter matters. Also, do we need another scene of ‘old folks’ doing a well choreographed flash-mob dance set in Piccadilly Circus for charity? Yes, when it has a cast of performers putting a smile on your face.
“Finding Your Feet” is not a must-see movie but a pleasant, emotional 111 minutes of film that has Bif telling her sister “It’s one thing being scared of dying Sandra, but it’s a whole other thing being scared of living.” And how could I not love a film that has a very believable reference to “A Chorus Line”?