Directed by Henk Pretorius - United Kingdom - 100 min.
Seventy-year-old Robyn Smith, portrayed by Diana Quick, is on the brink of abandoning the one element of her life that has always sustained and validated her: her writing. Robyn, an established and successful author, finds herself at a turning point in her comfortable life in the English countryside. She confronts dwindling readership, a husband who seems content with retirement activities like quiz nights and gardening and is haunted by the dual bitterness of not having children and knowing her own parents regretted her birth. When scientist Jim Petrak, played by Mark Jackson, offers her an age-reversing drug perceived as "the cure for regret," Robyn seizes the opportunity without hesitation.
However, immersing herself in a world where eternal youth is attainable, is not as enchanting as it initially appears. Most significantly, young Robyn, portrayed by Amy Tyger, faces resistance from her husband Oscar (played by Bernard Hill), a retired professor, who embraces old age without regrets and harbours selfless love for his wife.
Further complicating matters is the presence of Robyn's friend Jane Green, played by Stephanie Beacham, whose desperate quest to defy the physical effects of ageing yields dire consequences and intensifies Jane’s long-standing jealousy within their friendship. Additionally, there is Jim's troubled daughter, Anna Wolf, portrayed by Anna Wolf herself, a talented yet deeply troubled singer who seeks refuge from life on the streets and is taken in by Robyn and Jim. While battling her own inner demons, Anna's presence, coupled with Oscar's compassionate care for her, amplifies Robyn's regret over not having had a child with her husband.
Unable to accept Oscar's decision to forgo the age-reversing drug, Robyn takes matters into her own hands. Her choice leads to unforeseen consequences that starkly reveal how the cure for regret can give rise to its own remorse, but also unexpected joy.
Forever Young offers film audiences interested in the human condition a powerful experience of what it might feel like if we were able to rewrite our lives, and erase those aspects we regret. Through a compelling story, flawed but deeply human characters, a soundtrack that is moving and beautiful, and a cinematic style that keeps viewers enthralled, Forever Young is a film for the time we all live in.
Copyright © 2023 Atlanta Horror Film Festival - All Rights Reserved.