IFF Boston Review: 'I’ll See You in My Dreams' Is A Thought Provoking Slice Of Life

Ellie Wells ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Movies Editor

Sam Elliot and Blythe Danner in I’ll See You In My Dreams. Photo Credit: Bleeker Street Media
Every stage in our life prepares us for the next one. But what happens when there are no more stages left? I’ll See You in My Dreams attempts to explore that question.
Carol (Blythe Danner), a widow in her 70s, spends her days relaxing, gardening, and playing cards with a group of friends (Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, Mary Kay Place) from the local retirement home. After the death of Hazel, her trusty golden lab, prompts an existential crisis, she begins to form two very important relationships with very different men.
When she meets Bill (Sam Elliot) at the grocery store before realizing he lives at the same retirement home as her friends, she decides to give dating another try. At the same time, there’s Lloyd (Martin Starr), her twenty-something pool cleaner, who, as Carol puts it, “has everything to look forward to”.
The film is slow paced and deliberate, so much so that it alienates the viewer from the possibility of a second watch. While there are lighthearted moments, the film is a dark experience. But it’s meaningful, enhanced by wonderful performances, cinematography, and an emotional core. While primarily about some of the more morbid aspects of being a senior citizen, the film does not alienate younger viewers, and it takes you to places you don’t expect—just like life. The ending is also solid, the explanation of the title macabre but also sweet and hopeful.
I’ll See You in My Dreams is not an easy film to watch, if only because it feels so true to life and what senior citizens experience. There are many parallels with While You’re Young, as the films both poignantly address the issue from opposing viewpoints. But it’s nice to see a film that senior citizens can call their own while also have something to say for the younger generation.
Overall Grade: A- 
The Independent Film Festival of Boston runs through April 29th. Visit iffboston.org for more information.

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