Tuesday, November 27, 2007
away from her

"Away From Her", is a stunning film about love and Alzheimer's.....It stars the still breathtakingly stunning Julie Christie, in another Academy Award winning performance.....I cannot believe she won't get a nomination....!This is not a "happy" film....but it is such a moving and special film, with such a beautiful and economical script, that this should not be missed, depressing though it may be. Ultimately, I found it uplifting in a strange and gentle way, and deeply deeply moving.....And the performances, particularly Julie Christie, are incredibly wonderful in every way......This is a "grown-up" film about grown-up people who's history with one another is in the over forty years of marriage category....It is the story of what is there between two people after over forty years of living together...what is left and what begins to go away 'bit by bit' as Fiona's Alzheimer's Disease worsens, and she enters a nursing home facility.What happens to Fiona and her husband, (Brilliantly underplayed by veteran Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent) is heartbreaking and heart warming, all at the same time. Alzheimer's effect on all principal parties, in this case Fiona and Grant, is examined in this adaptation of a short story by Alice Munro, by the Canadian actress Sarah Polley, who also makes her amazing and fantastic directorial debut in this feature film.To bring Julie Christie back to the screen, after a ten year hiatus...(Well, not completely on hiatus....there were smaller parts in bigger films...."Finding Neverland", "Troy", and one of the Harry Potter franchise pictures, just to name a few....) but this is the first 'starring' role since "Afterglow" with Nick Nolte, for which Ms. Christie received an Academy Award nomination....Ms. Polley deserves a medal for pursuing Ms. Christie and not giving up on convincing Julie Christie to do this film. Everyone in this film is perfect. Olympia Dukakis as the wife of the man, (played without one word spoken by the brilliant Michael Murphy...) that Fiona forms an attachment to in the nursing home, is wonderfully simple, direct, and moving in her very important role in this devastatingly lovely film. There are two other performances worth noting, too...the actress that plays the Head nurse, Kristen Thompson, and the actress that plays the head of the Nursing Home, Wendy Crewson....both veteran Canadian actresses and both perfect in their balancing act of warmth and professionalism in these very difficult positions.Many people may find the whole thing too painful to watch; too depressing to take in....I can understand that. But for me, I think it is a very important film about a couple of subjects we can never see too much about. Love, and Alzheimer's Disease. Do yourself a favor, and rent "Away From Her" if for nothing else then to see the still luminous mature Julie Christie break your heart in a performance that will haunt you for a very long time....

More To Come......








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42 Comments:
Blogger Mar
had this to say:

Julie Christie looks wonderful!! I'll have to see this film. I lead a small English conversation group in our community and one of the participants' wife has Alzheimer...he does everything for her, who is still at home, and joining the English group is for the loving husband a little escape from the hard everyday life...I have learned a few things from him about this illness, I am sometimes afraid to ask. I'd love to hear more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 11:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't see this yet. It was filmed around the time that Gordon Pinsent's real wife died :(

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 2:51:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You are right about Julie still looking wonderful. She has the most incredible smile.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 3:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't see this film, yet. But I would like to see it soon. I like so much Julie Christie and Olympia Dukakis, too. Thanks for sharing this review, Naomi!

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 3:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I first saw Julie Christie in "Shampoo," and then later in "Heaven Can Wait." She has a combination of softness and strength that makes her interesting to watch.

This may be like Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook," I think I bawled throughout the whole second half of the movie, but the message is powerful and I believe there is no higher love than that of a person who will take care of you and stand by you when you can offer him/her nothing in return.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 3:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You have to KNOW I'm adding this to my list at Netflix. No....not an easy subject, but one that needs to be brought out more into the open for ALL of us to be aware of.
It sounds like Christie forms an attachment to another resident at the nursing home. This sounds like the true life incident that I saw on the news a few weeks ago. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's husband has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home. She allowed the info on tv because she felt it was vitally important for people to be aware. HER husband has a new love in his life....Another woman where he resides. They both have Alzheimer's and are like teens in love. He doesn't know his wife anymore.
I SO ADMIRE O'Connor for understanding this disease and to put aside her ego. That is love.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 5:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Ah, this is a film I shall have to find! I too was reminded of 'The Notebook' when I read your review, but I would guess that this film is a little less 'happier' if that makes sense. Anyway, any excuse to see the wonderful Olympia Dukakis!

Thanks for letting us know about this film!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 5:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Just this post made me sad I can only imagine how the movie would make me feel. I sobbed all through the night and some the next day after watching The Notebook. I am so afraid of Alzheimers. Martin's mother developed it later in life and lived in a nice assisted living center. He went to see her every single day that he was not out of town working or vacationing. She passed away in 2003.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:09:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I had heard about this film but kind of put it aside in my mind; so thanks for the reminder. Interestingly I just read that Sandra Day O'Connor is living this situation with her husband who has Alzheimer and has formed a relationship with a woman in his care facility. O'Connor's son said she goes there to visit and is friendly to the woman, gives love unconditionally to her husband without the bitterness that some would have in that kind of situation. Real love vs the stuff we often mistake for it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:22:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

It sounds moving, Naomi... Julie Chrsitie and Olympia D. together in a film is enough alone to make me go see it -- but the theme is important, and sad and a heartbreaking reality for some...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:43:00 PM PST 

Blogger b13
had this to say:

This film was fantastic and their performances were brilliant. I truly wept. A must see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I remember reading about this, maybe back when it was at Sundance. It sounds like a good movie. You said it would not be up for an Oscar, is that because it's not going to be released to theaters? What a shame.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 10:01:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't seen it BUT I love Olympia Dukakis ... her alone being in a film is usually enough to guarantee that I'll watch it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 11:08:00 PM PST 

Blogger Bud
had this to say:

Now that my friend is REVIEW!! She is a beautiful lady. I look forward to seeing this one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 1:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I saw this when it was playing in the theater and yes, it is very moving movie. Your pictures of the actors and actress's are wonderful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 7:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I want to see this film for sure! As a canadian, growing up as a child we loved Gorden Pinsent even way back then...he was so handsome and a regular on a series we used to watch when we were young..SO...a few yrs ago, my sister, working as the Proffesional Photographer that she is, had to cover a gala of sorts where there were the likes of many Canadian actors, such as Donald Sutherland , Gordon Pinsent among many others. Being totally proffesional, she went about her business untill she came to Mr. Pinsent...he seems so down to earth and gracious, she let down her professional side and leaned in and told him that she wanted to marry him when she was younger...He was so tickled by that, and they emediately got off on joking back and forth...through out the evening, anytime *Gordon say my sister he would yell, Hey Brigitte! Hows it going over there? or Are u doing ok? Having fun? She would alway answer something like...Doing good Gordon..how about you?...or Just great over here..Not getting into trouble now are you Gordon?...
She had a blast with him and was amazed how down to earth he was and fun.....It's so nice to see that someone admired since childhood can end up -pleasing us even more by being a genuinly nice person. ...I say this because more often then not, its not always the case..as my sister can atest.She has never been impressed by celebrity and has seen first hand how many are face to face...the exception to her rule was Gorden Pinsent and she adores him now more then she ever did lol......she has met and worked with many celebrities...(she is NOT a poparozi btw) she has covered events on the inside, and worked for the canadian primeminister for 2 yrs when Paul Martin was in power ..and now does freelance for numerous papers etc. As family, we get titbits of info about certain ppl that her life crosses paths with lol...ALWAYS fun to hear!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 8:38:00 AM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Naomi,

I coincidentally just saw this a couple of weeks ago--it's a beautiful movie. Julie Christie was very brave. The love depicted was amazing.

I'm glad you are bringing it to the attention of your audience.
Sharon

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

i think you just sold me on watching this. i bawled through the Notebook, and this sounds similar enough that i will break out the klenex, just in case.

Duck's grandfather passed away in September, he had been ill with alzheimers (and some other issues related to aging) for several years. his was a tragic loss, and effected us all in very profound ways. so perhaps we might even find a little bit of healing in this movie. eh?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

This film looks very touching, beautiful and emotional. I fear it is probably more emotion than I can handle right now so I won't watch it yet but I will remember it for the future. If it comes recommended from you then I know how good it must be! Even from the still pictures here I cna tell how 'deep' these performances are. Facial expressions say so much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 10:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hello Naomi,
I planned on seeing this film regardless of your effusive and sensitive review. Do you write these reviews professionally? They flow out of you so smoothly, I wouldn't be suprised. Now, I wish I could see it right this instance!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 11:45:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a lovely review. I will make it a "must see"...I believe that there are all forms of love and am happy when they are explored on screen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 12:55:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh wow, I put this film on my Netflix awhile back and watched it a couple weeks ago. BLOWN AWAY!!! The acting and storyline are phenomenal! It's one of those quiet films that gets down deep inside you. The characters are so real and the acting is superb. It was a movie that made me feel, think and understand things that I'd only previously given a cursory thought to. I would highly recommend this film to people who really want to sink deep down into a story and really engage their hearts and minds with it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 2:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Sounds lik an interesting film. I'll look out for that one. My Great Aunt Rose has Altziemers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 3:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I just read another review for this recently, I am sure it will end up on our Rialto channel eventually, Julie Christie is even more beautiful now then she was when she was younger.
BTW I just posted something you might want to see if you have not seen it already.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi,it's been a while as I was having so much problem with my blog site.

I first met Julie Christie through watching Dr Schivago when younger. She looks just as stunning today.

Certainly I will try to source for this one you've recommended. Thank you and have a good day. Take care.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 5:07:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I like your choice of words in calling the film "devastatingly lovely." That lets me know that it is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
Julie Christie really does look beautiful.
I remember her in Finding Neverland which is such a great movie.

Both my son and my hubby are in CA. They are going to see Van Halen in concert in Fresno on Thursday night, along with my dad. What fun those boys will have!!!!!
My son is EXCITED to put it mildly.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 5:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Alzheimer's is such an unfair disease. I'm not sure I'm up to watching a movie about it, though. (sigh)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 10:01:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What a great review Naomi. You make me want to watch this movie - I love stories like that - films that 'live' with you, love them. And such wonderful actors and a great storyline too by the sounds of it.

Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 10:30:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Randy / Las Vegas
had this to say:

Naomi,

You never cease to amaze me in the wonderful items you share with all of us. I would not have known about this film had you not brought it to my attention. Sounds so powerful can't wait to see it!! Thanks so much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 10:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I recently read a review of "The Savages" with Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the reviewer said it was practically a companion piece to "Away from Her." I imagine you will like that one, too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 1:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Michelle sent me back to say goodnight Aunty Em.
Adieu.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 1:35:00 AM PST 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

Naomi I shall definitely see this film. I have probably told you my younger brother - a really sweet man - developed Alzheimers in his fifties and lived in another world for years until he died within a few days of my mother's death. It is truly a dreadful disease and is a perpetual bereavement to the loved ones. Anything that educates people about this is to be welcomed but apart from that it will be a treat to see Julie and the other fine actors doing what they do so well. Thank you for telling us about it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 2:41:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I adore both Julie Christie and Olympia Dukakis, but am not sure if I could handle this film right now! My mother's mom passed away 2years ago and my 91 year old paternal grandmother, who lived next door to me and was like a second mom, is dying. Too, too painful. Maybe down the road?

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 7:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm writing this down. I love when women like Julie let themselves age naturally. I suspect European women in general are not so caught up in plastic surgery as women here. And they all look better for it!

Did you see "Iris?" Similar topic...wonderful film with Dame Judy.... oops hope it's just a normal memory lapse ...forgot her name.

Is it Dench? See, I'm okay just a little slow with names.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 7:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

This sounds like a lovely film Naomi, and about a subject that seems to be on the increase sadly. Thanks for the wonderful review!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 10:45:00 AM PST 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

Michele sent me back your way, my dear. I thought of you today anyways while watching the Bambi awards on German television :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 1:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The film sounds great but I have to say there's plenty of drama and sadness in my life as it is. Julie Christie is still gorgeous after all these years. How old can she be now I wonder?

I've just realized as I came to visit you that I had responded to your comment on my blog last week but you may have not seen it, in which case I apologize. But in short it was just to tell you that the short story about the "Trailer trash" Thanksgiving was in no way autobiographical. But I took it as a big compliment that everyone seemed to think it was real when they read it (and then they saw my reply to you). Guess that makes a good actress as well as a good writer. :-)

Hope this finds you well. Michele and I say hello.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 1:38:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I rented this recently - what a touching film. A testament to love and to how we reinvent our marriages in the face of life's changes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 7:29:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have heard of this movie and I suppose I will have to watch it now...I loved Julie Christie in Finding Neverland and she is still looking pretty darn good. Olympia Dukakis is such a good actress...

Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 10:32:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Lyn
had this to say:

I ordered a DVD today. I have long been a fan of Julie Christie and still watch my copies of "Afterglow" and "Dr Zhivago" again, enjoying them over and over..
Can't wait to see "Away From Her"

Friday, November 30, 2007 at 3:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Somehow I don't think right now is a good time for me to see this movie... maybe a few years down the road.

Monday, December 3, 2007 at 3:51:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

This movie is exquisite in so many little ways, and so important. To come to terms with our grandparents and our parents someday suffering from this is one thing. To realize that it can happen to our peers and to us puts a real face on it and makes life even more precious. The love that flowed through that movie was palpable. The regret, the humanness, the acceptance - so, so beautiful. Thanks for reminding me of this gem :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 3:55:00 PM PST 

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