Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ellen Page was robbed...

I just watched Sarah Polley's directorial debut, Away from Her. Julie Christie is an articulate, vibrant, Alzheimer's sufferer going into a long-term care facility. However, the star of the movie is her husband, Gorden Pinsent, a well-known Canadian actor. He has to watch his wife of 45 years deteriorate and forget him. When she gets lost one day and can't find her way home, she decides to go into the facility. To allow her to settle in, Pinsent isn't allowed to visit for a month. When he finally does, she has befriended another man and has seemingly forgotten her husband. In a moment of clarity, she explains to her husband that this new man doesn't confuse her, and that's why she likes him. Christie's performance is good, but she spends a lot of time sitting still and looking confused. Pinsent is suffering with the loss of his wife, partner, and friend, and is trying to make sense of what the rest of his life will be. When Christie's friend is taken from the facility, she starts to go downhill, and Pinsent seeks out the man and convinces his wife (Olympia Dukakis) to send him back to the facility. The love Pinsent has for Christie and his fight to keep her sane and healthy as long as possible (even if she no longer remembers or loves him) is heartbreakingly beautiful. Sarah Polley's direction is terrific, the slow-moving shots are excellent at setting the pace and makes it easy to see the slow decline. Overall, it's a great movie, but Christie's performance is good, but not terrific. Mr. Pinsent should not be overlooked (though I'm sure he will be) and Polley's direction is awesome. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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