Edie (Sheila Hancock) has had a hard life, caring for her difficult husband since his stroke 30 years ago. When he dies she thinks back to her happy childhood with her father, when they used to go for long walks in the countryside and they had hoped (but never managed) to walk up the remote Scottish mountain Suilven. She now decides that she is going to fulfil this lifelong ambition.....
Edie meets Johnny (Kevin Guthrie) who works in a mountaineering shop and he helps her prepare for her climb. The two start off not trusting each other, but develop a trusting and friendly relationship as time goes on.
The journey is at times a beautiful ramble though stunning scenery and at times a tough struggle against punishing terrain and dreadful weather.
The film is beautifully shot in one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland with plenty of amazing and vertiginous shots of and from Suilven itself. Edie is an inspiring character, full of determination to finally achieve her long term dreams and along the way inspiring Johnny to rethink his own desires in life. Sheila Hancock gives a brilliant and inspiring performance. It's great to see a film that hangs so much on the central character of a woman in her eighties.
The moral of the story is grab life when you can, take the opportunities you're given. Though I would add, whatever your age, it is foolish to go up into the mountains by yourself.
Edie had it's world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and is showing as part of the Best of the Fest at 2030 Saturday 1 July at Filmhouse (though this screening has now sold out!). Also inexplicably (given that it's the one film that I didn't like that I've seen at this year's festival) Dark Mile is also showing as part of Best of the Fest. The complete list of the Best of the Fest is available here.
The festival awards have also been announced. God's Own Country deservedly winning Best British Feature and Donkeyote deservedly winning Best Documentary. You can see the full list here.
God's Own Country will be in UK cinemas from 1 September. I have no information on when the other films I saw will be in cinemas, other than that Okja sadly won't be screening in cinemas and will go straight to Netflix.
So that's the end of the film festival for me this year. Here are links to all the films I've seen and reviewed:
God's Own Country.
Journey's through Time and Culture (review of Zer, Sami Blood and Donkeyote).
Two Films about our relationship with animals (review of Okja and The Challenge).
Leaning into the Wind.
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea.
The Dark Mile.
Red Dog, True Blue.
This Beautiful Fantastic.
I Dream in another Language.
Disclaimer: I had a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended press screenings of these films.