AWAY FROM HER

An Experience Learned

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: May 04, 2007

Starring: Julie Christie, Gordon
Pinsent, Olympia Dukakis,
Michael Murphy, Wendy Crewson,
and Kristen Thomas

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 110 minutes

Distributor: Lionsgate

Director: Sarah Polley

Executive Producer: Alom Eguyen and Douglas
Mankoff

Producer: Daniel Iron, Jennifer Weiss
and Simon Urdl

Writer: Sarah Polley and Alice Munro

Address Comments To:

John Feltheimer and Peter E. Strauss
Co-Chairmen
Lionsgate
AKA Lions Gate Films
2700 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 449-9200
Fax: (310) 255-3870
Website: www.lionsgatefilms.com

Content:

(Ro, Pa, B, L, S, A, D, M) Mixed Romantic and slightly pagan worldview with no intention of asking for God's help in dealing with Alzheimer's, but some moral elements; six profanities and obscenities; implied married sex and implied extra-marital sex; alcohol use; smoking; and some miscellaneous immorality.

Summary:

AWAY FROM HER is a tender drama about a married couple learning to deal with the wife’s progressively worse Alzheimer’s Disease. Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent are brilliant as the married couple, despite some stilted dialogue, but their characters do not turn to God in their time of need and the movie contains some foul language and sexual references.

Review:

The first scene in AWAY FROM HER is a tender foreboding. Julie Christie, achingly brilliant as Fiona, can't remember where the frying pan goes, so she puts it where she thinks it goes…in the refrigerator. Gordon Pinsent plays Grant, her husband of 44 years who watches her every move. When their eyes meet, the recognition, denial and fear of what is to come is established.

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.

In Brief:

The first scene in AWAY FROM HER is a tender foreboding. Julie Christie plays Fiona, who can't remember where the frying pan goes, so she puts it where she thinks it goes – in the refrigerator. Gordon Pinsent is Grant, Fiona’s husband of 44 years who watches her every move. When their eyes meet, the recognition, denial and fear of what is to come are established. Fiona is quicker to accept the fact she has Alzheimer's disease than Grant. After getting lost, she begs him to take her to an Alzheimer's Center for patients. She convinces him it will be a temporary place for treatment, but she never leaves.

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.