Film (1985). Fox-Zanuck-Brown. Directed by Ron Howard. Written by Tom Benedek from a story by David Saperstein. Cast includes Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon and Tahnee Welch. 117 minutes. Colour.
Aliens disguised as humans come to Earth to revive their kinfolk who were abandoned millennia ago in cocoons on the ocean floor; the swimming pool prepared for their revival is discovered and used by occupants of a neighbouring old people's home, who are (to a degree) Rejuvenated by it. Some leave Earth for a new life with the aliens. Cocoon was aptly described by critic Tom Milne as "Peter Pan for the senior citizen". Directed with intermittent panache, it oscillates between the whimsical, the genuinely touching and the merely vulgar. A saccharine sequel with a soap-opera plot, Cocoon: The Return (1988), directed by Daniel Petrie, is dispiriting. [PN]
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