The Possibilities Are Endless (12)
by James Hall and Richard Lovelace
From 7th November 2014
This is a personal and at times poetic tribute to the resilience of the
human spirit in face of adversity.
At the height of his fame Edwyn Collins, singer of Scottish pop band
Orange Juice, suffered a double stroke, which left him able to utter only
four words, "Yes" "No" "Grace Maxwell" (the
name of his wife) and "The possibilities are endless".
He used the last phrase ad infinitum, to the point where Grace felt it
was less than profound after hearing it so often.
The opening segments of the film are dream-like, including majestic nature
photography and shots of being submerged in water, perhaps resembling
the feeling of helplessness and being all asunder after being struck down
by a stroke.
It also includes location shots of the small town, Helmsdale, on the
east coast of Scotland, he lived in as a child. He still resides there
as well living in London.
Collins slowly regained his ability to speak, to a certain extent, for
example, by singing his old songs and meeting up with musicians he used
Grace is viewed in the film - sometimes you feel she and Edwyn are performing
together in front of the camera - as a muse, a rock. But he does not seem
to fully appreciate her utter dedication in looking after him. He questions
Grace - who is there with him 24/7 - as to what she has got to complain
about, when she is peeved about something or other.
Grace is openly honest about what she misses since he had his life-changing
illness, "Having sex with him."
I got a bit confused at times as to the point of actors playing Collins
and Grace as youngsters. These segments of the film came across as a tad
The Possibilities Are Endless illustrates starkly how transitory life
can be, and a reminder that we should, if possible, try to live life to
the full every day.