Louise (Gillan) is having difficulty. The 28-year-old is refusing to travel back to california to visit her ailing mother, who has dementia and has lost all memory of who she is. She is still dealing with her ex-boyfriend splitting up with her more than a year ago. When Louise slips and breaks her hip while trying to break into her ex's house through a window, she inadvertently makes friends with an elderly Polish woman named Antonina (Margaret Sophie Stein), who is bitter about the state of the world.
Despite her inability to converse in English, Louise and she manage to become close because the latter takes care of her. More than either of them anticipated, they gain a lot from one another. Teenagers have traditionally been the main characters in coming-of-age stories, but Late Bloomers recognises that being lost and searching can happen at any age. The movie manages Louise and Antonina's storylines with gentleness and grace because the possibility that life might not go as one had always imagined or planned can be enough to send one into a tailspin.
The story of the movie doesn't do anything especially revelatory, but the way these characters' lives and dynamics are developed is lovely and endearing. In favour of a more realistic examination of Louise and Antonina's lives and relationships, Late Bloomers shuns tradition. This gives their dynamic authenticity and eliminates the need for cheap laughs by making fun of Antonina's failure to speak English.
The eccentric humour and rich personalities in Late Bloomers keep the plot moving. It never stays focused on one subject for too long before moving on. With Steen doing an excellent job of executing what could have easily become a tedious narrative, there is enough self-reflection and relationship building to make for a pleasant viewing. The two women at its centre are equally obstinate and desperate to be seen, each in her own way, and the movie has a lot of heart. The coming-of-age tale is nicely reimagined in Late Bloomers, which is charming and gives its characters the focus they merit.
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