The Leisure Seeker

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The Leisure Seeker
The Leisure Seeker.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaolo Virzì
Written by
Based onThe Leisure Seeker
by Michael Zadoorian
Produced by
  • Fabrizio Donvito
  • Marco Cohen
  • Benedetto Habib
CinematographyLuca Bigazzi
Edited byJacopo Quadri
Music byCarlo Virzì
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 3 September 2017 (2017-09-03) (Venice)
  • 3 January 2018 (2018-01-03) (France)
  • 18 January 2018 (2018-01-18) (Italy)
Running time
112 minutes
  • Italy
  • France
Budget€15 million[2]
Box office$10.4 million[3]

The Leisure Seeker is a 2017 comedy-drama film directed by Paolo Virzì, in his first full English-language feature. The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian. It stars Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, acting together for the first time since the 1990 film Bethune: The Making of a Hero.[4][5] It was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival.[6] Mirren received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film.




The film reunited director Paolo Virzì with producers Fabrizio Donvito, Benedetto Habib, and Marco Cohen from the Indiana Production Company, since their collaboration in Human Capital and Like Crazy which also won many festival awards. It is also the director's first film shot solely in English.[citation needed]

Sutherland and Mirren had previously collaborated as a married couple in the Phillip Borsos directed China-set saga, Bethune: The Making of a Hero,[7] and this is their first film together for 27 years.[citation needed]


Principal photography for the film began in July 2016 in Atlanta, where the crew's cars were damaged on set by flooding.[8] A casting call for extras was sent out,[9] and filming also took place in Stone Mountain and Dunwoody, Georgia.[citation needed] Other important scenes included Jekyll Island, Georgia, US 1 in Key West and the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. Fisherman's Hospital is located in Marathon, Florida.


The film, based on the novel by Michael Zadoorian, was sold at Cannes by BAC Films.[10] On August 30, 2017, Focus Features acquired the UK rights to the film.[11] It was released on March 9, 2018.


Box office[edit]

The Leisure Seeker grossed $3.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $14.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $17.8 million.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 38% based on 109 reviews, and an average rating of 5.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Leisure Seeker certainly doesn't suffer from any shortage of acting talent, but it's largely squandered on a predictable, diffuse drama with little to say."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[13]

Israeli researchers, Dr. Shlomit Lir and Prof. Liat Ayalon analyzed the film in comparison to the Israeli film, "Alaska". Based on the two films they identified a model of liberty within the family at old age.


  1. ^ a b The Leisure Seeker at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Paolo Virzì on set in the United States for The Leisure Seeker". Cineuropa. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "The Leisure Seeker(2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  4. ^ Vivarelli, Nick; Keslassy, Elsa (May 12, 2016). "Cannes: Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland to Topline Paolo Virzì's 'The Leisure Seeker'". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Jaafar, Ali (May 12, 2016). "Helen Mirren & Donald Sutherland Team For 'The Leisure Seeker' – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  6. ^ Anderson, Ariston (July 27, 2017). "Venice Competition Includes Films From George Clooney, Guillermo del Toro, Darren Aronofsky". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (May 12, 2016). "Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland joins Paolo Virzi's 'The Leisure Seeker'". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Busch, Anita (August 28, 2016). "Cars Damaged During 'Leisure Seeker' Shoot In Atlanta: Production Says It Will Pay Deductibles — Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  9. ^ [Unknown author] (August 9, 2016). "Donald Sutherland's "The Leisure Seeker" Looking for Extras". Casting360. Casting Dynamics. Retrieved March 23, 2018. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (September 9, 2016). "Bac Nails Sales for Helen Mirren/Donald Sutherland Starrer 'Leisure Seeker' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (August 30, 2017). "Focus Features Boards 'The Leisure Seeker' With Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Leisure Seeker (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  13. ^ "The Leisure Seeker Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 3 April 2018.

External links[edit]