APRIL 6, 2018 -- There is nothing new or different about director Richard Loncraine's latest film. It doesn't cover any new territory about life, living, and growing old. People grow together and people grow apart. There will always be lovers, liars and clowns. But it is always enjoyable to watch a British troupe put their spin on any subject.


The subject in this case is a British aristocrat's wife - Sandra (Imelda Staunton) - who suddenly finds out her husband (John Sessions) is having an affair with whom she thought was her best friend (Phoebe Nicholls). And, as is usually the case, Sandra is the last to find out. Her husband and all her aristocratic friends want her to shoulder a stiff upper lip and be still.


But Sandra won't have any of that and retreats to the only place where she can vent, her sister Bif (Celie Imrie) who lives a life in the poor side of town with common folk who drink, dance and have fun. Bif is footloose and fancy free, the total opposite of what Sandra has become.

The subtitle of this film could easily be "How Sandra Got Her Groove Back" but I'm sure Terry McMillan might have something to say about that! Yet that is exactly what the film is about, Sandra rediscovering what makes her happy and realizing joy didn't come with the title of Lady attached to it.


After some initial awkward moments when she first arrives at Bif's flat and meeting a few friends, in particular Charlie (Timothy Spall), Sandra joins them at a community center for geriatrics where they participate in a dance class. It turns out that Sandra was once quite a good dancer and after much reluctance, she gets back into the swing.


During the course of the dancing, she becomes close with Charlie, who lives on a small house barge because he sold his home a while back. He sold his home to pay for his wife's nursing care as she is in the late stages of Althzheimer's; she doesn't even recognize him any more and he discontinues visiting her. Sandra is filling the void in his life and he in hers.


In the meantime Bif is going on carefree, even when her designated sex partner keels over dead... nothing seems to bother her. She is the one consistency in Sandra's life.


There is nothing new and original in "Finding Your Feet", it just happens to be a well acted, well paced film that gently touches all the right buttons at the right times. As she was in "The Best Exotic Budapest Hotel" and "Nanny McPhee" Imrie is charmingly quirky and fun to watch. Sprall delivers his steady discourse. Staunton is rock solid and identifiable as Sandra. The cast is perfect.


And that is the secret to what is basically an ordinary story developing into a very watchable product. The cast is magnificent, the acting is textbook.


"Finding Your Feet" is a charming British dramedy that benefits from the veteran talent. It's funny, sad, fanciful and real...just like growing old is supposed to be.   -- GRADE B+ --   GEOFF BURTON