Friday, July 23, 2010

49 Up

Movie review from The Movie Snob

49 Up (B-). Well, the Borg Queen and I are finally up-to-date on this series of British documentaries. To recap, in 1964 some British filmmakers rounded up a gaggle of 7-year-olds from various social classes. They interviewed them all about their attitudes, their likes and dislikes, and their expectations for the future. The result was the first entry in the series, 7 Up. Every seven years since then, the filmmakers have gone back, found those same kids, and interviewed them again for a new film. (I think they were mainly made for TV, but imdb.com shows that 49 Up got a short theatrical release in the U.S.) As of 2005, when this one was made, the people are all about 49, and time has been hard on some of them but pretty good to others. It's an interesting experiment, but I have to say the series gets less interesting as it goes on. People just don't change as much after they're 21, or at least 28, and after 28 Up each episode has seemed kind of the same: people have mostly married, maybe had kids, maybe divorced, and probably lost a parent or two. The kids from the lower classes have generally had a tougher time than those from the upper classes. The most interesting part after the early episodes is that one of the participants, who was a really cute and happy-seeming child, developed mental illness, and you always wonder what each new episode will bring. For that reason alone, I hope they do make a 56 Up here in the next couple of years.

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