This is the eighth installment of Michael Apted’s Up series.
This is the most current installment of the Up series. It came out in 2012 and we won’t get another installment until 2019, so we must cherish this installment until we are able to get another one. The biggest news about this installment is the return of a subject that hadn’t participated since 28 up. The reasons behind it him choosing not to participate hang mainly on the reaction to his last appearance. He was the other teacher that was working in a general education school. He was clearly unhappy with his situation and expressed it bluntly. Apparently he said a couple of things about Margaret Thatcher and the government at the time that angered a couple of tabloids who decided to attack him. He decided to return because he is a happier person that was able to completely get over the backlash and he wanted to promote his band. He brings a hint of creativity to the movie that feels refreshing. He talks about criticism and his evolving career. He seems more peaceful with his life than what he was in 28 Up.
The financial crunch that happened a couple of years after the last installment is felt throughout this whole film. Jackie’s disability is revoked, several children are stuck at home with their parents, Tony had to abandon his dream of opening a pub in his Spanish community, and lives seemed to be downgraded a little bit more. Although I feel terrible for these people, it is still nice to see that I and America are not the only ones suffering from the financial crisis. I hope that there is a way to completely recover from this worldwide depression but I highly doubt it. I hope that everyone could succeed, but it is just not like that anymore. These people will hopefully be able to get through this just like I am trying to, but the government is doing nobody any favors. Nobody cares about the poor and disenfranchised. They force older people out of their jobs, cut after school programs, and take unemployment away from anyone that is struggling to find another job. But of course they have enough money to fully fund military programs and pad the pockets of the wealthy…. 56 Up is an astute sketch of how the collapsing economy affects the everyman.