Review of “Away From Her” (2006) PG-13 110min
February 3rd, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 3,702 Views
This movie is a debut as a director for young Sarah Polley, based on short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Alice Munro.
The plot: A man (Gordon Pinsent) who’s wife Fiona (Julie Christie/Stacey LaBerge) loses her memory due to Alzheimer’s, has to commit her to institution. He has to cope not only with not being able to live with her after 40 years of marriage, but also with the fact that she got emotionally attached to another mute and disabled patient at the institution and seemingly forgotten her husband. She begins to care about her new friend like of her own patient, which makes Grant, her husband, very jealous, but he’d do anything to make her happy.
The summary: this movie is old man’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, without the sci-fi, but lovely for the sacrifices the main character had to make to make his wife happy. Another similar film in recent memory was “The Notebook”, where the story also moved from present to the past.
The good: It’s a lovely movie, very sentimental. All acting was nice, and so were philosophical dialogs. I didn’t read the book, but the script is very well written. Gordon Pinsent’s voice was amazing. He should be dubbing movies alongside Morgan Freeman. The opening sequence is very nice, when you see a sequence of seamingly unrelated images, but all together they are a part of the whole image. I also loved that the colors are always bright in this film and there’s a lot of light, but because it’s winter it’s also cold.
There was a funny moment when one of the patients, who had a habit of commenting on everything like a TV reporter or sports commentator, walks through the corridor and “by the way” describes our hero’s state of mind in one sentence as he walks by: “..as you can see we have a lot of natural light here everywhere throughout the building, and there’s a man with his heart broken to pieces…”.
The bad: the images of Canadian snow and skiing made me sleepy and I was thinking about fireplaces and hot coffee. Slow. Because this is not a high-tension drama all acting was rather linear.
Favorite quote: “It’s bad luck”. – “No, it’s just life. Can’t beat life.” – “No.”
Nominated for 2 Oscars with 28 another wins and 14 nominations.
DVD features: commentary by Julie Christie who played Fiona.
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