I watched The Whales of August with my mom a few weeks ago. It was a lovely film, starring Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, Ann Sothern, and Vincent Price. Not much goes on in the film, just a couple of days in the lives of two sisters’, Libby and Sarah, but there was enough going on in the film that kept me in my seat.
Libby and Sarah are two sisters in their eighties, living in an old house by the sea in Maine, and life is going on as usual. But Libby is bitter and sees life as a burden; she has a negative view of it and it almost seems as if she wishes to pass away now, not having a reason to live anymore. Libby believes in the age old depressing adage: life goes on until it doesn’t. Sarah is the dutiful younger sister of Libby who wants more out of life, but feels daunted by her sister’s obstinance. Sarah chooses to see beauty in life, even though she is older herself.
My mom said that most people couldn’t watch this film. She’s right, too. Most people would think that there was not enough goings on to warrant this film for a watch. But I say to you, watch it! It is a lovely benediction to the older generation, to our parents and grandparents.
This film has shown me that, yes, there are frightening things about growing old. But there are much more lovelier things. Seeing the beauty of the world around you, still taking pleasure in the small things, like visiting neighbors, bringing blueberries, and fish to eat. Time passes quickly some days, but in a whisper if you let it. You are never too old to enjoy life. And even if you’re in your sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, etc., it doesn’t matter. As, Joshua Brackett said to Sarah, “There’s nothing wrong with new, Mrs. Webber, if it makes something good better.”
This film gave me a strong sense of appreciation for the simpler things in life. I used to think that growing old would be a truly frightening thing, but after watching this movie, I feel more at ease about it.
Life is an adventure and we must live each moment deeply, because time passes when you’re sitting idly by. Even though all of the characters were older, you could still see a sparkle of liveliness in their eyes. There is always life in people, from the moment they are conceived til the moment they die. This film is a testament to the idea of growing old. It’s truly a special thing. This film has good dialogue and strong friendships among the characters. The acting was simple, yet fine, and the script was breezy and laid back. I would happily watch The Whales of August again and again!