Entertainment Weekly - 10/13/2006
"As real as reality TV is fake, 49 UP is a precious document, and must viewing." -- Grade: A
Box Office - 12/01/2006
"Here, another enthralling, self-reflective layer has been added to the series."
Seven years have passed since 42 UP, which means it's time for another installment in Michael Apted's landmark documentary series. What began as a project to expose harsh class distinctions in British society has evolved into an intimate character study of everyday individuals who are navigating their way through life's many twists and turns. This installment features returnees Tony, Bruce, Sue, Jackie, Suzy, Paul, Simon, Nick, Andrew, John, Lynn, and Neil. What is most inspiring about 49 UP is the realization that all the subjects appear to have found an inspiring level of contentment in their personal lives. While no one has won the lottery or struck impossible gold, they have all managed to age gracefully and prove that a normal life is a noble life. Apted incorporates footage from the previous films in order to provide background and ensure that the film stands on its own. Concentrating on personal matters--as opposed to politics--49 UP is another remarkably poignant, and deeply universal, work of nonfiction from the multidimensional British director.
This film was included in the 44th New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.