49 Up Image

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: 49 UP is the seventh film in a series of landmark documentaries that began 42 years ago when UK-based Granada's World in Action team, inspired by the Jesuit maxim "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man," interviewed a diverse group of seven-year-old children from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Michael Apted, a researcher for the original film, has returned to interview the "children" every seven years since, at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and now again at age 49. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    The latest riveting, heartbreaking chapter to one of the supreme creations of documentary filmmaking, the "7 Up" series.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    No matter their wealth or social status, these people share disappointments and elations and a sense that life, in the end, may be what life is about.
  3. 100
    I am not British, was born 14 years before the subjects, and yet by now identify intensely with them, because some kinds of human experience -- teenage, work, marriage, illness are universal. You could make this series in any society.
  4. 83
    While all the "Up" films hold a fascination akin to a Christmas letter from an almost-forgotten friend, 42 Up didn't show much progress from "35 Up." Even fans of the series had to wonder whether the faces of England were going to remain permanently frozen.
  5. 80
    Suzy's marriage, Nick's divorce, Paul's work history: none of it is my or anyone else's business. But these things -- these people -- have become, through Mr. Apted's films, a vital part of modern life, which seems to grow richer every seven years, when the new "Up" movie comes out.
  6. Taken as a whole, these films constitute one of the greatest uses of cinema a documentary filmmaker has ever devised. Like the other films in the series, 49 Up is alternately touching and mundane, part soap opera, part reality show and part anthropological study.
  7. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    It doesn't make for involving drama, unless the audience is already invested in the subjects' fortunes. Thus, 49 Up will have more appeal for long-time followers than newcomers.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JosephFJ
    Oct 18, 2006
    Several are heroes to me. They may not have achieved their goals but from a standpoint of family, grand children and toughing it through, I have enormous respect and admiration for them. Expand
  2. EvieB.
    Oct 9, 2006
    I've been revisiting all the previous "Up" installments in preparation for seeing this. As a result, I find myself quoting lines nonstop ( "I read the Observer and the Times!"). This series is so, so good. I just love everyone in it--even the people I find dull or annoying. After all this time, I can't help myself. Expand
  3. DanC.
    Dec 9, 2006
    The series is brilliant, a 10 out of 10 all the way. I found this installment ever so slightly less compelling than the previous ones, because the subjects have moved into comfortable later middle age. Still, it's a great film. Recommendation: watch the entire series on DVD before viewing this one - it's well worth the investment. Expand
  4. RalphM.
    Dec 10, 2006
    A fascinating look at life. I don't know how much distortion the documentation process causes, but the stories of this group of individuals pushes through time and time - sad, tragic, inspiring. This time around I found a theme of middle age contentment - one of the more optimistic editions of this series. Collapse