2013, USA, 90 min.
Prickly Marie (Shirley Knight) has reluctantly settled into comfortable isolation in a retirement community, content to live a life of cantankerous indifference. Then her soon-to-be-wed granddaughter leaves a voice-mail message, disinviting her from the wedding—and from her life. A humbled Marie decides to go to the wedding anyway, lacing up her hiking shoes and walking the 80-mile trip via Oregon’s busy and bucolic Redwood Highway. The winding odyssey allows Marie to meet kind souls—a widowed woodworker, a tavern owner/single mother—but, more importantly, to make amends for the present and settle the past. Sampling the good in the world permits Marie to open herself up to life. It doesn’t have to be hard all the time. Knight’s spirited and vulnerable performance is a marvel and far from the movie’s only asset. Director/cowriter Gary Lindgren’s unabashed belief in the kindness of strangers and in older people’s ability to keep growing creates an infectious character study that will delight everyone.