Away from Her

Away from Her

5.0 4
Director: Sarah Polley

Cast: Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent, Olympia Dukakis


Filmmaker Atom Egoyan -- a longtime onscreen collaborator with the gifted young actress Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter) -- executive-produced Polley's directorial debut, Away from Her, starring Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, and …  See more details below


Filmmaker Atom Egoyan -- a longtime onscreen collaborator with the gifted young actress Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter) -- executive-produced Polley's directorial debut, Away from Her, starring Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, and Wendy Crewson. Adapted by Polley from a short story by Alice Munro, this small-scaled two-character drama concerns Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona (Christie), a long-married couple, well into their golden years, who are much in love and connected to one another on every level. "Soul mates" in the purest sense of the term, the two feel a sense of ease and tranquility in their rural home. But when Fiona's memory begins to slip away and she insists on being taken to a rest home, the decision stirs up torrents of guilt and regret in Grant's heart. The rules of the center only complicate matters, as they forbid visitation and communication with Fiona for an interminable period of time. He determines to support his wife at all costs, even if must happen at the expense of his own peace of mind.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Away From Her, Sarah Polley's deliberately paced, poignantly observed tale of how Alzheimer's disease affects a long-married couple, is filled to overflowing with remarkable acting. This is a quiet film that deals with very large emotions, but plays them very small. As Grant, Gordon Pinsent carries the hefty emotional weight of the film. The devotion he feels for his wife, combined with the anger he feels over her disease, and the guilt he has accumulated for his occasionally less than stellar behavior as a husband are all communicated in subtle shifts of his face over the course of the movie. It is a haunting performance that is both detailed and deceptively natural. By the end of the film, the audience knows him, warts and all, as well as his wife did. Julie Christie plays the wife, and her performance is a technical marvel. She has just a little bit of time in the beginning of the movie for us to understand why this woman is so loved by Grant, and then she must slowly slip into varying levels of dementia. There are no screaming fits, or crying jags. She just slowly and steadily fails to recognize common things, until those things include her husband and her love for him. Christie is always referred to as a beauty, and while this is most certainly still the case, Away From Her reminds anyone who had forgotten that she is a formidable actress. The film's overwhelmingly emotional ending sneaks up on the viewer because of the director's trust in her actors and the material. Great actors must be empathetic, and Sarah Polley, though still a young woman, was already one of the best actresses of her generation when she made this movie. Away from Her, Polley's directorial debut, exhibits patience and empathy that indicate a remarkable career behind the camera may be in store for her should she wish to follow that muse.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Feature commentary with actress Julie Christie; Deleted scenes; Deleted scenes commentary with director Sarah Polley; 16x9 widescreen presentation; 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital audio; English and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julie Christie Fiona Anderson
Gordon Pinsent Grant Anderson
Olympia Dukakis Marian
Michael Murphy Aubrey
Kristen Thomson Kristy
Wendy Crewson Madeleine
Stacey Laberge Young Fiona
Deanna Dezmari Veronica
Clare Coulter Phoebe Hart
Thomas Hauff William Hart
Alberta Watson Dr. Fischer
Grace Lynn Kung Nurse Betty
Lili Francks Theresa
Andrew Moodie Liam
Judy Sinclair Mrs Albright
Tom Harvey Michael
Melanie Merkosky Singing Nurse
Jessica Booker Mrs Jenkins
Janet Van de Graff Rebecca Albright
Vanessa Vaughan Stella
Catherine Fitch Receptionist
Ron Hewat Frank
Jason Knight Young Grant
Nina Dobrev Monica

Technical Credits
Sarah Polley Director,Screenwriter
John Buchan Casting
Kathleen Climie Production Designer
Atom Egoyan Executive Producer
Jonathan Goldsmith Score Composer
Debra Hanson Costumes/Costume Designer
Victoria Hirst Co-producer
Daniel Iron Producer
Sean Jensen Camera Operator
Doug Mankoff Executive Producer
Ted Miller Production Manager
Luc Montpellier Cinematographer
Daniel Murphy Asst. Director
Jane Tattersall Sound/Sound Designer
Benno Tutter Art Director
Simone Urdl Producer
Catherine Viot Makeup
Jennifer Weiss Producer
David Wharnsby Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Away from Her
1. Spark of Life [6:36]
2. Introduction [7:38]
3. Caregivers [7:05]
4. A Real Charmer [8:04]
5. Forty Four Years [10:11]
6. Little Bit of Grace [5:39]
7. A New Friend [6:30]
8. Day by Day [9:48]
9. Persistent [3:35]
10. Meadowlake [4:32]
11. I'm Her Husband [7:23]
12. Letters From Iceland [2:54]
13. Field Trip [6:13]
14. The Second Floor [7:27]
15. Just Be Happy [12:02]
16. End Credits [3:59]


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