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5 Flights Up

Ruth & Alex sitting next to each other

A wise comedy about life, love, and real estate, 5 Flights Up stars Academy Award winners Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman as a couple whose attempts at relocation send them on an urban odyssey — and help them redefine the meaning of home.

When Ruth (Diane Keaton) and Alex (Morgan Freeman) first moved to Brooklyn, it was the 1970s — years before gentrification, and years before they would realize that they won't always be physically able to climb several flights of stairs just to get home. Still highly active, yet feeling the undeniable effects of age, the couple opts to put their apartment on the market. But the decision coincides with a flurry of problematic events. A trailer jackknifes on the Williamsburg Bridge and the driver inexplicably flees the scene, putting all of New York on an overblown terrorist alert. The couple's dog becomes ill and the vet bill comes to $10,000. An overwhelming sequence of encounters with realtors, agents, and snotty bargain hunters only adds to their troubles.

Based on Jill Ciment’s novel Heroic Measures, 5 Flights Up is that rarest of films: a lively cinematic portrait of people in their so-called golden years. Director Richard Loncraine (Richard III), shifts us elegantly between the present-tense narrative and seventies flashbacks, which show Ruth and Alex falling in love during a period when doing so as a mixed-race couple prompted open hostility.

But the main reason to see 5 Flights Up is the sheer pleasure of watching its ingeniously cast leads. Keaton and Freeman are so brilliant with behavioural comedy, so at ease with the script's urbane wit, that their performances seem effortless. Ruth and Alex are a charming duo whose every word and gesture demonstrates a lifetime's worth of experience and love. You'll find it a joy to spend an hour and a half in their company. ~ Toronto International Film Festival


  • Director: Richard Loncraine
  • Country: USA
  • Orig. Work Title: Heroic Measures
  • Year: 2014
  • Language: English
  • Release: May 8, 2015
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: PG

  • Executive Producer: Morgan Freeman, Sam Hoffman, Richard Toussaint, Bob Gass, Judy Burch Gass, Wade Barker, Gary Ellis
  • Producer: Charlie Peters, Lori McCreary, Curtis Burch, Tracy Mercer
  • Production Company: Revelations Entertainment, Latitude Entertainment, Manu Propria
  • Principal Cast: Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Cristofer, Claire van der Boom, Korey Jackson, Carrie Preston, Sterling Jerins, Josh Pais, Miriam Shor, Alysia Reiner
  • Screenplay: Charlie Peters
  • Source Author: Jill Ciment
  • Cinematographer: Jonathan Freeman
  • Editor: Andrew Marcus
  • Sound: Thomas Varga
  • Music: David Newman
  • Production Designer: Brian Morris
trees and building