The Age of Adaline (Blu-ray Review)

Age of AdalineBlake Lively is a captivating 29-year-old who survives a near-death experience, and from that day on, never grows older. Adaline guards her secret and her heart for eight decades until a charming philanthropist (Michael Huisman) and his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) force Adaline to confront her destiny in this unforgettable tale about the timeless power of love. 

Age of Adaline


When The Age of Adaline hit theaters earlier this year I really didn’t know what to expect. My girlfriend wanted to see it, so that was pretty much that – we were going to see it. Five minute into the story and I was hooked. That probably had to do with the fantasy element of magic and immortality. Adaline is a beautiful 29-year-old woman with her entire life ahead of her. On one fateful night she is involved in a near-fatal accident that changes her life forever. At that particular instance of near death something unexplainable occurred that rendered her ageless. She would never grow old and would be forever encapsulated in her 29-year old form forever.

This of course did not render her unable to live her life. She would have take great steps to protect her identity, familial relationships (she is mother to a young daughter) and her love life would all take a hit. I guess that’s the drawback in living forever. You can’t love anyone, because you will outlive them all. The film flashes backwards and forwards and Adaline looks the same. In her present self she carries a veil of sadness but she also has a keen intelligence cultivated by being alive 80 more years than she should have been allowed. If my math were correct she would be about 109 -110 years old – giver or take a year or two.

Things begin to slowly unravel when she meets a handsome philanthropist who becomes smitten by her and her elegance. As they get closer he introduces them his parents played by Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker. There’s a an interesting plot point involving Adaline and Harrison Ford, who I didn’t even realize was in the film, to begin with. The film may be littered by some optimism but it’s also filled with a subtle sadness in that Adaline can never be “normal” again. In the present her now adult daughter is played by Ellen Barkin and is a very old woman who saw her mother grow up but wasn’t there to see her child grow. Those moments, and there are few throughout the film, are what really carry it all the way to end. Being an ageless immortal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The Age of Adaline is most certainly Blake Lively’s film and that worried me a bit, because I didn’t care for her in Green Lantern and I HATED her in SavagesSavages was an awesome flick but she was the worst thing in it. I don’t remember watching anything else involving her, so I figure redemption was at hand with Adaline. Yes, I was truly impressed at her range playing the character from a rambunctious young woman to an ageless one. Her tone, mannerisms, etc., gradually change as she gets older but stays the same. In fact I told some friends after seeing it that the film reminded me of the Highlander movies minus the decapitations. Yes, that’s a leap, because The Age of Adaline is not that type of movie, but the similarity cannot be overlooked. In any event The Age of Adaline is a very cool sleeper hit and if all goes to plan – it may crack my Top-10 of the year. We’ll wait and see on that, though.

In the end there can be only one… Sorry, it had to be done!



Age of Adaline


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Say what you will about the film (I loved it) but you really can’t say that The Age of Adaline does not look absolutely gorgeous on Blu-ray. It’s impossible to say otherwise. The film, yes film, was shot on the digital side of things on various formats (digital for the most part and one scene in 16mm), but you would think that one was watching Casablanca or another classic of the Hollywood’s yesterday. Contrast and sharpness levels were not at all tweaked either.

Depth: Grand. Absolutely grand. Give me a spoon, because you can scoop Adaline directly from the television screen. The interiors are divine and I really liked the warmth and low-lit areas that Adaline inhabits.

Black Levels: Black levels look pristine and stay deep and inky. Crush was not a problem.

Color Reproduction: The color is properly blanked and considering the film takes place through an 80-year timespan – the depending on where our characters are venturing too, the settings, costumes, make-up, hairstyles, etc., stay vibrant. Taste the rainbow, if you please.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks flawless – Adaline most of all. She’s a living statue.

Noise/Artifacts: None, zilch; with the exception of the 16mm scenes, the film is anomaly-free.


Age of Adaline


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Descriptive Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: The Age of Adaline does have a couple of important “fantasy” element-scenes that the soundtrack makes full use of but it is not an action-driven film.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer channel handles those scenes mentioned relatively well – some frightening low-end bass levels punctuate the claustrophobia and fear of drowning.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels handle the glitz and ambience without any problems.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is as crystal clear as the champagne Adaline drinks at one of the engagements she attends.


Age of Adaline


The special features on this Blu-ray consist of a very cool and thoughtful commentary by director Lee Toland Krieger. The dude literally paints with cinema and doesn’t come off as stuck up or pretentious about the art form and his film. The featurettes are also well rounded and detailed – Krieger participates in all of the menus the deleted scenes. The coolest one would be that of Anthony Ingruber, who was plucked from obscurity, and thrust into the spotlight thanks to his YouTube videos and spot on impersonation of Harrison Ford. The featurettes and the deleted scenes are presented in high definition, as well.

  •  Audio Commentary with Director Lee Toland Krieger
  • A Love Story for the Ages (HD)
  • Style Throughout the Ages (HD)
  • Discovering Young Harrison Ford: Anthony Ingruber, an Online Sensation (HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD)
  • Digital HD UltraViolet Copy



Age of Adaline


 Honestly, I had a ball with Age of Adaline. My previous experiences with Lively as the lead actress left much to be desired and I wrote her off. I’m glad she upped the game with a very warm and thoughtful performance. The Blu-ray is reference material in terms of technical specifications and the extras, like Adaline herself, are well thought out even though they are typical. The commentary by the director and his active involvement in every facet of the film make it a stand out.



The Age of Adaline is available on Blu-ray & DVD!




 Age of Adaline


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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