5 Flights Up Review – Truthful, Realistic, Genuinely New York

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

5 Flights Up, from Revelations Entertainment and Focus World, presents a genuine New York classic, filled with unique characters, honest dialogue, candid presentation of topics generally left dormant, ageism in a youth culture, and the tumultuous Manhattan real estate markets.

Directed by Richard Loncraine, 5 Flights Up stars Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Cynthia Nixon, Claire Van Der Boom, Kory Jackson and Carrie Preston. Based on the novel, Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment, 5 Flights Up was written for the screen by Charlie Peters.

5 Flights Up begins on a cold winter Brooklyn morning, with Morgan Freeman in voice over, walking through his reemerging neighborhood, witnessing once again the transformation as new developers design monuments to themselves with the belief that glass houses are the wave of the future. A bohemian, he gently walks his dog, stopping for his morning coffee, newspaper, greeting the neighborhood shop keepers as he and they smile, pausing as a new day in paradise rolls out.

The din of Manhattan becomes the third lead opposite Freeman and Keaton who play Alex and Ruth, an older couple, a fixture in their Brooklyn neighborhood.

Married for nearly four decades, 5 Flights Up provides flashbacks, with Claire Van Der Boom and Kory Jackson playing the younger Ruth and Alex, into how they met, their early lives, when racism was openly worn and spoken and when the future for Alex, once a gallery sensation held the beginnings of an acclaimed and promising career.

With Freeman in voice over in several areas of the film, explanation of his life and inner thoughts are presented, the memories of Ruth and Alex as a young couple in the turbulent 70's is also intermittently played out. We see flashbacks of Ruth's mother displaying her disapproval, of Alex's career highlights, of life unfolding, raveling at the seams and being sewn back together.

Brooklyn and Ruth and Alex changed over the course of their lives. Her parents, it seems, came around, as Cynthia Nixon joins the cast as her niece, Lily, a high strung, consummate New York real estate agent.

After the couple's pet is sidelined with a life threatening injury, the two make the decision that it may be time to sell the only home they have ever known. A decision simply made, without thought, they realize real estate prices have skyrocketed and their minor investment forty years ago can net quite a handsome price and alas had they had this idea one year ago, before real estate prices fell, handsome could have been stunning.

So deciding to sell, the three, Alex, Ruth and Lily (Cynthia Nixon) begin to test the real estate water, as the apartment with a view of Manhattan has serious potential in this seller's market.

An open house, which ushers in the shark world of house hunting in Manhattan, and becomes a strong back story. Open house groupies, pretentious realtors, and the outrageous and common place property prices which is a character of its own and well played throughout as a host of eccentric and diverse New York couples move across the screen in hopes of securing their palace in paradise.

Carrie Preston joins the cast in an uncredited role as a snarky, pretentious, real estate agent who steals the scene with her flamboyant red hair and serious attitude.  

5 Flights Up is driven by strong New York characters from Keaton and Freeman, who project a genuine comfort of a couple growing old together, to both rocket fueled real estate agents, to the parade of potential buyers, to the city that never sleeps and won't let anyone else either and features New York, a sweet melody or disturbing cacophony, in all its modern glory.

5 Flights Up holds the attention, especially as the real estate offers begin to pour in, it is like an auction of sorts with each person not knowing what the other is bidding. Compassion letters pulling the heart strings of the sellers, manipulating the buyers into believing they should make, to quote Marlon Brando in The Godfather, "An offer they can't refuse." It sounds as if the next line from the movie of the same name should follow any potential buyer in Manhattan's real estate market.

And 5 Flights Up is entertaining with enough happening from several back stories, typical of Manhattan, that the interest is held. I enjoyed it. It was truthful, realistic and genuinely New York.

5 Flights Up is well done, a believable comedy, drama.

5 Flights Up opens Friday, May 8, 2015. Check local listings.

Haute Tease

  • Money News: U.S. Markets Fall; World Markets Rebound; Asian Markets Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average sustained heavy losses this week after a lackluster State of the Union address failed to boast investor confidence even as eight of the ten most watched markets in the world closed up.

     
  • HL Tech: Top Ten TVs That Offer the Most for Your Money

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From sports to streaming movies, today's best and most innovative televisions bring the theater experience into the living room. They generate stunning colors, contrast, clarity, resolution and audio, and they're complemented by an impressive menu of features. They're also prohibitively expensive for many buyers.  

  • World News: The Northern Irish Question Ends Brexit Chapter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    To end the saga of Brexit, British Prime Minster Boris Johnson, by accepting the European Union's conditions on the settlement of the Northern Irish question, paved the way for a relaxation of the hard-lined post-Brexit negotiations.

     
  • Academy Award® And Emmy® Award Winner Nicole Kidman To Star In Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Academy Award® and Emmy® Award Winner Nicole Kidman will star in Destroyer, a modern Los Angeles crime thriller to be directed by Karyn Kusama from an original screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.

     
  • Op/Ed: COVID-19 - Speaking Up in Black and White

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    These days more and more apparently intelligent people seem to upspeak. That's the irritating "Valley Girl" inflection where every sentence sounds like a question. Don't these people trust their own thoughts and words?

     
  • New Four-Week Cocktail Competition Begin at The Wellesbourne, A Los Angeles Hidden Gem

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The ultimate libation challenge begins as the English-inspired bar launches a brand-new 4-week mixology competition series, "The Wellesbourne Classic" sponsored by Patrón Tequila. The competition seeks bartenders at the forefront of cocktail artistry and are imaginative with pairing ingredients.  

  • OJ Simpson Granted Parole in Nevada

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson, the former football great, has been granted parole in Nevada where he has served nine years of a thirty-three year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping in conjunction with theft of sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.

     
  • UPDATE: Fourth Victim, Cousin of Shooter, in Washington State School Shooting Dies;Brings Total to Five

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The fourth student victim of the deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State, has claimed its fifth victim as parents and survivors are returning to school while trying to cope with the senseless tragedy.