5 Flights Up

5 Flights Up


The best moves in life are the ones you make together.

Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton lead this breezy tale as an elderly married couple who plan to sell their New York apartment – the one they’ve lived in for over 40 years. But when personal conflicts mix with tricky real-estate matters, the pair become divided about what they really want.

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Flicks Review

Struggling artist Alex (Morgan Freeman) and retired teacher, Ruth (Diane Keaton) have been living in the same New York apartment, happily married, for over forty years. But now, their old bones too frail to cope with five flights of stairs, they’re selling up. Cue a disproportionately large amount of screen time given over to real estate offers and counter-offers. That’s pretty much it plot-wise. Except for Dorothy, their cute old dog, whose ailing health leads to an expensive veterinary visit. Oh, and a satirical background breaking news story, involving the media getting, in Alex’s words, “worked up over nothing”, and driving down Brooklyn property prices with their terrorist scaremongering.... More

I’ve not read Jill Ciment’s novel on which this is based, nor will I, if it inspired a film so full of poor one-liners, and predictable plotting. The ending is obvious from the start. The moral hammered unsubtly home. The dog’s called Dorothy, as in The Wizard of Oz. “There’s no place like home.” Adding insult to injury, director Richard Loncraine invites unfavourable comparison to Woody Allen’s Manhattan, casting, in Keaton, the same lead actress, and repeatedly shooting her and Freeman at what appears to be the same park bench, by the same bridge, utilised in Allen’s far superior rom-com.

Despite Keaton and Freeman’s considerable charisma, this slight, undemanding, gently humourous movie, cynically aimed at the grey-haired market, had me yawning like Dorothy the dog anaesthetised for surgery. Don’t get me wrong. I like old people. One day, I plan on being one. But this schmaltz is the Hollywood equivalent of a sentimental greetings card. Trite, obvious, and two-dimensional.Hide

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The Press Reviews

54% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • What a pleasure to see a simple, finely tuned dramedy about real adults with real emotions in a real-life situation. Full Review

  • The lead performances are so perfectly in sync that Alex and Ruth really feel like an old married couple who know each other's foibles and cherish every tic. Full Review

  • The movie stays afloat with its sneaky perceptiveness, dealing in how real estate's grand mysteries alter the lives of those trying to navigate it. Full Review

  • Keaton and Freeman make for a pleasant couple in Richard Loncraine's conflict-free virgin-cocktail of a movie. Full Review

  • If you're looking for a film completely free of loud explosions, raised voices or anything actually happening, you can't go wrong with this fusty New York fairytale. Full Review

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