Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Review: 56 Up

Upwardly immobile
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 5, 2013
3.0 3.0 Stars

For the 49 years of Michael Apted's singular, amazing documentary series, he's returned every seven years to see what's happened to the British children first filmed on a single day in the early 1960s: half were poor, blue-collar East Londoners, the other half children of privilege with Oxford and Cambridge probably in their future. At 56, they are often where they were at 49, though a little pudgier, more settled down, and definitely less ambitious. It's almost always about family, family, family, and how their kids and grandkids are doing, whether those on camera are smugly rich or just getting by. In general, the working-class participants are livelier on-camera presences, perhaps because they still struggle each day to stay solvent.

Several of the moneyed males, who have no economic worries, really have turned into boorish and bloodless souls. An oddity this time: one bloke, Peter, who dropped out of the series after 28 Up, is back. His admitted reason: to push a folky CD featuring himself and his spouse. 56 Up is still moving and philosophic, though not as exciting as earlier episodes, which had more drama. Only one character seems angrier and more pessimistic than last time: the always-troubled Neil, who, despite new employment as a lay clergy, rails against the failures of mankind and his own inability to change the world for the good.

Related: Review: Gone, Review: Act of Valor, Review: Chico & Rita, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Movies, review, film,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY