STILL MINE Add To My Top 10
A Rural Farmer vs. Bureaucratic Government
Release Date: July 12, 2013
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Michael McGowan
Executive Producer: Richard Harnet
Writer: Michael McGowan
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The movie opens in a courtroom with Craig Morrison (James Cromwell), an elderly farmer in rural New Brunswick, Canada, being charged for failing to keep his house up to government regulated standards. With a multitude of fines and orders to halt construction, the judge asks Craig whether he realizes the gravity of his situation.
The movie jumps back to two years prior. Craig farms strawberries and has a small herd of cattle. His wife, Irene, who’s beginning to lose her memory, is becoming a burden. Craig’s son and daughter urge Craig to find a home where Irene can live, but Craig refuses to let her leave, even though she sometimes frustrates him. Irene’s condition worsens, and Craig decides to build a small house on their property in which Irene can move around more easily. His neighbors scoff at him for attempting to build a house in his 80s, and his children worry for his safety. Determined, he sets out to break ground and begin construction. Meanwhile, his family helps out as much as the ornery Craig will let them.
Trouble begins to brew when a building inspector tells Craig to cease construction until he has all the proper legal permits. Craig steadfastly refuses to stop building, insisting that his house is sound. Tensions build and Craig puts everything on the line to defend the home he made for his ailing wife.
Though slow at times, STILL MINE stays interesting with creative editing, beautiful cinematography, and charming characters. Some of the dialogue falls flat, but James Cromwell pulls the story along in a fantastic performance.
The movie’s strong moral, capitalist message built on the foundational ideals of integrity and hard work fly in the face of our bureaucratic society that infringes on personal freedom and small business. Over and over, STILL MINE shows examples of how tyrannical government regulations hurts small business owners and homeowners. The movie also emphasizes Craig’s strong love for his wife. Though he makes mistakes and shows frustration for her forgetfulness, their love for each other his endearing.
Regrettably, Craig’s relationship with his children is rocky due to his strong desire to live independently. Nonetheless, at least two of the children and some of the grandchildren come along and help him build the house.
At two different funeral services inside a church, Craig is reminded of the uncertainty of life and the importance of thinking beyond death. When things seem hopeless, Craig, a self-sufficient man who never asks for anything, turns to prayer. Sadly, these heartwarming scenes are mitigated by strong profanities and one lewd scene, so strong caution is advised.
STILL MINE has strong acting by James Cromwell. Despite some slow moments, it engages the viewer throughout its running time. The movie’s strong moral, capitalist message is built on the foundational ideals of integrity and hard work. Such Christian values fly in the face of our bureaucratic run society that infringes on personal freedom and small business. Repeatedly, STILL MINE shows examples of tyrannical government regulations hurting small business owners and homeowners. There are also multiple faith themes woven into the story. Sadly, there are some strong profanities littered throughout the movie, and one lewd scene. So, STILL MINE warrants strong caution.