Review (Scott McCutcheon 17/03/23)

Set in in a small Yorkshire geriatric Hospital, where Jennifer Saunders head nurse and her dedicated staff help various elderly patients played by Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, David Bradley, Russell Tovey and Julia McKenzie, and based on screenplay by Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife, Cranford) and stage play by Alan Bennett (The Madness of King George, The Lady in The Van), Allelujah is one of the most depressing films that you’re ever likely to see on the cinema screen. If you know elderly people who want to go and see Allelujah for their own sanity try and talk them out of it.

Marketed as standard British comedy Allelujah is anything but. Rather than the comedy it tries to give us the impression it is, it’s a depressing film that makes you worry about becoming old. And if that isn’t enough it batters you over the head with a political message about how good the NHS and its staff are despite the fact it’s being destroyed by the current Tory Government.

As for the ending? I won’t go into detail but just let’s say that it has no bearing on what’s came before and feels disconnected from the entire story.

Quite who Allelujah will appeal to is a mystery, young cinema goers I’m sure won’t be interesting in watching a bunch of incontinent pensioners moaning about their aliments whilst the elderly, who are undoubtedly the target audience, will be horrified about watching what could possibly lie ahead of them.



1h 39m

Director: Richard Eyre
Cast: Jennifer Saunders, Bally Gill,  Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, David Bradley, Russell Tovey,  Julia McKenzie

UK Release: Cinemas 17th March 2023