Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama Away From Her – 2007

Away From Her – 2007

When a gem of a film like this one comes along, it is not easily forgotten. Julie Christie’s amazing performance as Alzheimer sufferer, Fiona is astonishing. Her performance overshadows that of Gordon Pinsent, and that’s the way it was supposed to be. The film itself is an intimate examination of a relationship that is coming to an end. Fiona is placed in a home after living with her husband, Grant (Pinsent), for 44 years. This is a big step for them both, but an inevitable one. Once she is in the home, Fiona forms an unusual bond with a fellow patient, one where she only feels completely safe around him; she even feels the need to care for him, as if no one else could.This is a sad reality for Grant, as Fiona slips out of reality into a world of an unknown future and no longer needs or remembers Grant. He is rejected by her for the majority of the film, only really realising that he is her loved one during brief moments of lucidity. He is the one whose life is torn apart by the Alzheimer’s, or at least, he is the one who realises it. The wife of Fiona’s male friend in the home, played by Olympia Dukakis and Grant also form a bond, where they are able to take comfort in shared pain, as hard as it is to let their loved one’s go, they are able to put aside their happiness for the sake of their loved one’s in the home.

It is a deeply emotional film that revolves around an everyday tragedy like we have never seen on screen before. Actress Sarah Polley does a magnificent job adapting Alice Munro’s book, and her subtle debut as screenwriter and director is amazing, albeit a little flawed, but that is expected from a debut.

The performances are key to the films pace and theme, and they are all understated, yet powerful. Julie Christie will get an Oscar nomination for this film, I can guarantee it.
The supporting players are just as good. This film is one that is created by three extraordinary women in cinema, and the outcome is something fascinating and heartbreaking. A milestone for women in film.

Directed by Sarah Polley, written by Sarah Polley based on the short story, The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro, staring Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent and Olympia Dukakis, running time: 110 min.

Tagline: “It’s never too late to become what you might have been”

1 thought on “Away From Her – 2007”

  1. I have been looking forward to seeing this movie but haven’t gotten the chance. Thanks to your review I think maybe I will have to try a little harder. Also I have to say that since her days on Avonlea Sarah Polley has really come into her own as an actress and a director.

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