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Director: Leon Marr
Writers: Leon Marr, Sherry Soules
Stars: Linda Thorson, Stuart Margolin, Laura de Carteret
Review by Gilbert Seah
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, and an audience favourite at numerous festivals such as Whistler Film Festival, U.K. International Jewish Film Festival, and Atlanta JFF, among others, THE SECOND TIME AROUND, the title tells it all, is about a second chance – a second chance at love. This is the kind of film that appears every 4 months or so, catering for the seniors, much like hits like COCOON.
Katherine Mitchell (Linda Thorson), a widowed yet vibrant senior, is not looking for love a second time – not at her age, and certainly not with grumpy Isaac Shapiro (Stuart Margolin). Her first line of dialogue in the film: “I prefer cut flowers to plants. When they die, you just throw them away.” She is entered into a convalescent home by her daughter, Helen (Laura de Carteret) after a hip injury. She is in a wheelchair. Convenient as made so by the script by Marr and Sherry Soules, both are widowed. Isaac and Katherine slowly fall in love, kissing and eventually taking their clothes off to sleep together (Don’t worry, the scene is done in good taste.)
The film moves at a slow pace suitable for the elderly that might be too slow for the video game audience. Director Marr (DANCING IN THE DARK) knows how to work his target audience. He has Mr. Shapiro sing to Katherine while dancing the song “The Second Time Around”. One cannot wish for a more romantic set-up. A few tears are also shed in the scene when the character Ben dies.
An artistically impressive seven is the one doe with shadows on he ceiling. Isaac drink and grumbles while Katherine leaves the room, shown as a shadow on the ceiling diminishing in size.
But as that title implies, the film is about a second chance in other areas as well. Katherine gets to Iive her dream of visiting the Opera House in Milan, Italy. But the film does not shy away from the realities of old age as well. As is the immobility, the intolerance of family members go caring for the elders, sickness an pain like athritis and migraines.
BAFTA Award Winner Linda Thorson (she was the first replacement of Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel in the popular TV series THE AVENGERS) delivers a sympathetic performance showing how dignified an prey her aged character can be. Stuart Margoloin (most famous for TV’s ROCKFORD FILES) also turns on his charm as her love interest. The two leads have good chemistry making the romance believable and charming. The late Don Francks (numerous TV series and the film FINIAN”S RAINBOW) who died last year has a small role as Murray.
The film has a good sweet ending with opera – Katherine’s first love. The soundtrack is full of beautiful music from famous opera pieces like Carmen and La Traviatta.
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