AWAY FROM HER
An Experience Learned
Release Date: May 04, 2007
Runtime: 110 minutes
Director: Sarah Polley
Executive Producer: Alom Eguyen and Douglas Mankoff
Writer: Sarah Polley and Alice Munro
Address Comments To:John Feltheimer and Peter E. Strauss
AKA Lions Gate Films
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Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 449-9200
Fax: (310) 255-3870
Fiona is much quicker to accept Alzheimer's Disease than Grant. After getting lost skiing in the snowy woods outside Ontario where they live, she begs him to take her to Meadowlake, a center for Alzheimer's patients. She convinces him it will be for temporary rest and treatment, but she never leaves.
This could become a maudlin, 'disease of the week' TV movie, but the director, Sarah Polley, creates a touching story of an elderly, but active man forced to watch his wife of 44 years disappear.
AWAY FROM HER is beautifully filmed and the actors are superb. Of special note is the Head of Nursing, played by Kristen Thomas, who gains Grant's confidence and becomes his advisor. By helping him, she helped us see the painful stages of Alzheimer's unveiled and the maddening unpredictability of the disease.
The movie shines because of its authentic depiction of Alzheimer's and the stages of grief that loved ones are forced to endure. The movie fails in the dialogue. The adaptation of Alice Munro's short story, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” produces chunks of dialogue that sounds scripted at times. The movie moved glacially at times because of this artificial quality and it seemed unnecessarily long.
The real absence, however is the love of God in the lives of Fiona and Grant. The comfort and confidence of knowing that a place for us to meet those we love again is being prepared now, is where our hope lies. Without that hope, the miserable daily losses of mind and body are meaningless and cruel.
AWAY FROM HER could have become a maudlin, 'disease of the week' TV movie, but the director, Sarah Polley, films a touching story of an elderly, but active man forced to watch his wife of 44 years disappear. AWAY FROM HER is beautifully filmed and the actors are superb. Of special note is Kristen Thomas as the nursing head who gains Grant's confidence and becomes his advisor. By helping him, she helps us see the painful stages of Alzheimer's and the disease’s maddening unpredictability.