Opening 31 May 2018
Sandra Abbott (Imelda Staunton) has reached her goal. Her husband Mike (John Sessions) has worked his way up, and, in honor of his achievements, earns the title “Lord” Abbott, which makes Sandra a “Lady,” and why not, after having forgone a life of her own for the last 35 years in order to ensure his future. She confidently plans his upcoming retirement. However, during the celebration party on their huge country estate, she discovers Mike and her best friend Pamela (Josie Lawrence) having a go in a back room. It turns out that this affair has been in full swing for many years. Sandra leaves the house in a sulk and takes a taxi to her sister Bif (Celia Imrie) in London. Obviously, Sandra has never had a real life of her own; otherwise, she would have sought out other sources of support, considering that she and Bif have had little contact for a decade. Sandra strides into Bif’s small apartment in lower, working class London and begins to throw her weight around. Luckily, Bif has a good sense of humor and sees the despair behind the un-Lady-like behavior. She introduces Sandra to her circle of friends, including Charlie (Timothy Spall) who lives on a boat. They enjoy their amateur dancing group in their dance studio, or even as a flash mob at Piccadilly Circus (filmed with the 20-member dance group, 50 extras, and 600 people who happened to be there). After a successful performance they are invited to a competition in Rome.
The title can be understood figuratively and literally. Literally, Sandra finds her feet and begins to dance again. Figuratively, she gets back onto her feet and into her former life where she finds her real self again. All of the above-mentioned actors have enjoyed successful careers in theater, musicals, film, and television. They, alone, are worth a trip to the cinema. Then there are the 15 professional dancers, all “older,” some retired and especially re-called for this film, who have had successful careers in musicals which have opened on British stages over the last 50 years. For example, Basil Patton, now 74 years old, is a veteran of such musicals as “Oliver” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Moral of the story: learn to care about what is important. We can enjoy many familiar songs such as “Rock around the Clock,” “Rocking Robin,” “Freak Out,” and “In the Mood.” Try to see the film in the original English to get the various accents typical of the different classes of British people. (Becky Tan)