56 Up Reviews

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February 26, 2019
56 Up is both an exceptional standalone documentary and an excellent teaser for the series as a whole.
August 30, 2018
It may be true that the character of a person may be more or less set by the time they are seven. But there's no predicting exactly where that character will lead.
February 21, 2018
Fortunately, the structure of "56 Up" is complex enough to add layers of distance and irony to its subjects' present-day stories. As it reminds us, no one's life turns out quite like they planned it, even for relatively happy people.
September 11, 2017
Here as always [Director Michael] Apted jumps between his subjects' variously aged selves with hypnotic, occasionally ruthless dexterity, mapping new narrative sequences and creating damning or salubrious conversations.
April 28, 2015
Perhaps predictably the mellowest of the movies. They for the most part seem to have settled into an autumnal contentment. The big conflicts have been largely resolved.
January 1, 2014
As the project hits its half-century mark, with the "kids" settling into middle age, the signature cross-cutting between then, now and everything in between feels downright Proustian in its emotional depth.
January 1, 2014
Apted, now 72, has said he'll keep calling on his subjects every seven years until he or they are dead. Whether the subjects show up or not, I for one will be in line when 63 Up comes around.
January 1, 2014
This suffers as well from the fact that the subjects' lives haven't changed all that much since 49 Up (2005); perhaps the series will improve yet as they head into old age.
January 1, 2014
The original documentary was intended to illustrate how the country's deeply ingrained class system inscribed itself on the aspirations and inner lives of its young people. But the successive movies have been far less polemical.
January 1, 2014
We're now at 56 Up,, and with each passing calendar leap, the experience of watching has only become more soul-stirring.
July 8, 2013
a window into our shared human experience, and a terrific one at that.
May 6, 2013
56 Up has become a stirring reflection, even tribute, to the little bends and turns of ordinariness, the ebbs and surges of everyday lives.
April 11, 2013
Apted's subjects would object to the idea that we really know them, but we think we do -- and that's good enough to make his film feel like a reunion, a visit with an old friend. Or 14 of them.
March 28, 2013
Yes, on some level it's just a seven-year check-in with people maybe half-remembered, if that. Yet the films also serve as a kind of check-in with us, too.
March 21, 2013
Chances are that you'll come away from this long film feeling a sense of knowing its characters.
March 8, 2013
We might say that '56 Up' serves much the same function as 'Amour,' but it responds to the inevitability of decline with compassion, not dread.
February 28, 2013
What started as a crafty way of looking at the U.K.'s rigid class structure has grown into a portrait of melancholy middle age, with its heartbreaks and minor-key triumphs.
February 23, 2013
In 49 Up, many of the series' subjects seemed to be just settling into their bliss; now they're committed to it, and the foreclosed possibilities that come alongside.
February 22, 2013
Those British kids are now 56
February 21, 2013
Watching the eighth film is intriguing but, in a way, disappointing. At this point in the game, it feels as if all the characters have determined their lots in life and are simply plodding through their interviews.
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