A review of  Innocence” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: *** 1/2

Rating: Not Rated, but could be PG-13 for adult content

Run Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

 

In the grand tradition of David Lean’s “Brief Encounter”, late-in-life-love rears its snow-white head in a delicate and poignant twist on the timelessness of the heart.

Andreas (Charles Tingwell) is a 30-year widower and retired music teacher who relies on his devoted daughter for support and companionship.  Unexpectedly stumbling across the address of his first young love, Andreas is awash in nostalgia for the passionate affair that was abruptly cut short.  Hoping for a positive response, but expecting little, Andreas sends a letter to his long-lost Claire (Julia Blake). 

Claire has been living a lifeless marriage for 20 years.  Andreas’ letter awakens her from a stagnant emotional slumber.  The couple’s initial meeting, fifty years after their last goodbye, stirs up sensations that had long since grown dormant.  Despite disapproval from their respective family members, Claire and Andreas throw caution to the wind and pick up where they left off – with reckless abandon unaffected by time.

A love story at this level of maturity is a rare find in our youth-oriented culture.  “Innocence” touches on some profound themes – compassion, regret, physical pleasure, and illness – and makes beautiful music for a pair of elderly star-crossed lovers.  It’s high time for a reminder - love and lust are not sole ownership of the young.