Peter Morrell sees this lively comedy about a group of rebellious and feisty pensioners whose plight will resonate strongly with AMG readers
I recently went to see Golden Years, a British film that many of our readers will identify with. A combination of fate, the financial crisis, the NHS post code lottery for treatment and a stubborn refusal to accept the injustices of old age have forced law-abiding, retired couple Arthur (Bernard Hill) and Martha (Virginia McKenna) Goode into a life of crime.
Refusing to take the loss of their pensions lying down and simply fade away into their declining years, our characters decide to fight back and take back what’s rightfully theirs. Their plan is simple: hit a series of banks and steal back their pensions along with those of their similarly stricken friends. After all, no one would expect an elderly couple towing a caravan behind their sensible Volvo of being a modern-day Bonnie-and Clyde?
Initially things go to plan and Arthur and Martha revel in the excitement of their success, this reigniting their passion for life both in and outside of the bedroom. But it soon becomes clear that they’re going to have to carry out an even larger raid in order to stop their beloved social club from being turned into a supermarket.
Pretty soon, their friends are recruited to form a motley band of unusual suspects and they prepare to take down the biggest bank of all. But you know what they say: “The bigger the score, the bigger the risk”…and by now not only are they being hunted down by the ruthless and ambitious DC Stringer (Brad Moore) but veteran copper Sid (Alun Armstrong) and his young sidekick Dave are closing in fast “. Still, our plucky pensioners aren’t prepared to back down and the action hurtles headlong to a showdown between Arthur, Martha and Sid on the day of their climactic heist. Will Sid bring in our loveable outlaws? Or will he see that they’re simply decent people trying to reclaim what’s rightfully theirs?
There are strong performances by Virginia McKenna and Bernard Hill and they are ably supported by their partners in crime Una Stubbs, Sue Johnston (The Royale Family), Phil Davies (Poldark) and a brilliant characterisation by Simon Callow.
There are numerous ‘laugh out loud’ moments and it caught the mood of what life is like as a pensioner in modern day Britain, right down to Arthur and Martha’s grumpy next door neighbour and the plight of their friend in an old people’s home.
How does it end? Well you will have got to see it to find out but in getting to the finale you will have a lot of fun on the way.
Golden Years is in cinemas from 29th April 2016.
Bernard Hill, Virginia McKenna, Una Stubbs, Simon Callow, Phil Davis, Brad Moore, Alun Armstrong, Sue Johnston, Ellen Thomas and Mark Williams
Written & Directed by John Miller (Living in Hope, Gatecrashers)
Produced by Mark Foligno (Moon, The King’s Speech)
Written & Exec Produced by Nick Knowles (Historyonics, DIY SOS, Perfection)
A MoliFilms Entertainment production – www.molifilms.com