Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
Some of the people have changed so much since 21, that it is pretty mind blowing. Some people haven't though, and that is kind of sad to me. This entry into the series is three hours long, which is a real knock against the film, but it is still pretty great.
So much for reviewing them all at 56. Families, daughters , wives, husbands, sons, the characters are multiplying, the lives are proliferating to an undocumentable degree, there is comfort now, stability, success, failure, at 28 years of age are these select few any closer to finding out what they want to do? 28 is past my age, so here we have glimpses into a projected future in both horrifying and mystifying ways. Do we lie to ourselves or do we change at such a rate we barely comprehend it?
21 - Says she's too cynical for marriage, hates kids
28 - Happily married (at 22), two kids
21 - Says women aren't for him past one night stands
Really starting to connect with these people.
For the fourth time we revisit the men and women who were interviewed at age 7, the whole world ahead of them, now entering true adulthood in their late 20s. Definitely in watching the Up series in such quick succession, it would be easy to get tired. Repeated clips are used ad nauseum, as each film of course was released every seven years, and wasn't tailor made for people watching them all in a row. Still, my fascination powers me through them, as the price of knowing countless interviews by heart is worth paying once you get to the good stuff.
Some of their lives are infinitely more interesting than others, but the one subject I was most intrigued about,…
I don't know why, but this one left me feeling quite sad. Perhaps it was that the last half ended with several people who were quite contemplative with an underlying sadness to them. Probably unfortunate for me, but I most related to Neil despite the fact he seems to be struggling in the very least with depression. His internal conflict has given him a broader view of life than most of the other participants. One of the happiest seemed to be Tony, which is a bit ironic in that the director admitted fearing Tony would soon be in jail and he filmed him in a variety of sketchy areas at 21 for future use. I would be curious to hear from Symon's wife as he talks about his easy life despite the fact he has 5 children. Having 2 has nearly killed me and there is clearly a difference in standards or something going on.
This series is terrific.
It's a weird thing to have to critique a movie that's essentially nothing but showing how a life's grown. It's not like it's planned out and staged. The filmmaking itself isn't anything remarkable. Just simply set up interviews along with some average b-roll. The editing is quick enough to bring up pertinent details so you never lose who or what's being talked about at the moment, something I was thankful for since it's been about three years since I saw the previous one. But ultimately any enjoyment you get is from any interest you have in checking up on these people. Which, yeah, some are more interesting than others. Kind of like your every day-to-day life.
Comparing with the 'Up' series, 'Boyhood' is so pretentious and shallow.
While I felt that the third chapter (21 Up) started to tackle more existential and personal themes like self-realization and happiness, it was still on a lower level. 28 Up goes all out on this, showing how people who got unlucky with their careers finding a new job they love like Tony or unlocking their mind's potential like Nicholas.
At the same time we see people like John not changing a bit of their (IMO overtly posh) mindsets and others like Neil somewhat descending into a different path from what we and they expected. Going onto the next chapter I really hope Neil's life prospect changes, because I connected with him a fair lot and he seems to be stuck, lost on this period were he may not admit but he's unsatisfied with what's going on.
This British documentary is the fourth in a series that began, 21 years ago, with a report on the hopes and dreams of British schoolchildren titled 7 Up; the same children were interviewed at seven-year intervals, and this installment finds them, at 28, coming to terms with adulthood. Director Michael Apted uses footage from the previous films to illustrate how far his subjects have come (or, in many cases, failed to), and while hindsight plays a heavy role, the film does make a depressingly persuasive case for the immutability of personality—in virtually every case, the adult to come is clearly legible in the face of the child. In Britain, I suspect, the film plays as one more sad demonstration of…
frick, this one draaaaaaaaaaags
I think Neil might be mentally ill and that's really making his journey a tough watch bc I know it's not going to end well at all.
This is easily my favorite of the bunch so far, partly because it's the last one that I suspect will be a truly dramatic shift in character or circumstances for many of these people. At 28, a lot of them have settled into *something*, whether it's a happy life where they can be content and feel fulfilled or a life of deliberately vague wandering to avoid suburbia. While I'm sure there will be twists and turns and developments in future films, they are likely to be less surprising and sudden than several of these were.
It's also interesting to me as I am now 28 myself, so I can't help but compare myself and where I am in my life…
This is the first in the series that I felt like had a structure. All of the characters seem to have settled into adult life and most are married with children. A couple of the people chose to not be interviewed for this film. But, overall this has been the best part of the series.
It is amazing how little some people change from 7 to 28 and how much others change. I can't wait to see what 7 more years of life experience bring our characters.
I am freaking loving watching the Up series. This is just a fascinating series, with sometimes my expectations of these people coming completely true, while other times it's completely different. There are people I thought after 21 Up would probably be doing awful 7 years later that were doing incredibly well and for no good reason, that made me very happy.
I feel like at this point, the theory set up in the first film - that looking at a 7 year old can basically show you the rest of their lives - is for the most part correct. There's great moments when I realized that these now-adults are basically doing exactly what they said they'd be doing at 7,…
The future is scary, and this series is starting to feel like something I actually want to spend time on.
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
I Like to Watch / Caballero (1982)
Mona the Virgin…