63 Up (2019)

This latest addition to Michael Apted’s “Up” series is alternately one of the more relaxed ones, but also one of the sadder ones. As we catch up with the participants who have been interviewed every seven years since 1964, it’s noticeable that many of them have settled into post-middle-aged comfort, with some of them having little to report that’s noteworthy since 2012’s “56 Up,” and it’s nice to see them so comfortable and content. On the other hand, this is the first entry where one of the participants has passed away since the last installment, and also the first time that one of the other participants is struggling with a life-threatening disease, which adds a certain dourness to the proceedings. It’s not that it’s unpleasant, it’s that the movie forces the viewers to confront their own mortality and the inevitability of death. In some ways, it’s a reflective, somber experience via the experiences some of the participants share, which signals that the series is entering a new phase in its life cycle: The next installment will be “70 Up” in 2026, and based on the evidence here, they’ll likely be more illness and death, and while the original thesis of the project was to explore the British class system, it’s now morphed into a shared treaty on personal legacy and the uncertainties that come with the passing of time.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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