Away from Her

( 4 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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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
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2007
  • UPC: 031398217954
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,278

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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Menu

Disc #1 -- Away from Her
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Set Up
      Audio
         5.1 Dolby Digital
         2.0 Dolby Digital
      Subtitles
         English
         Spanish
         None
   Special Features
      Feature Commentary With Julie Christie: On
      Feature Commentary With Julie Christie: Off
      Deleted Scenes
         Lost in Paris
         Silly Lake
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: On
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: Off
         He's Here
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: On
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: Off
         Sweater Bingo
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: On
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: Off
         Life Is Complicated
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: On
            Play With Commentary From Director, Sarah Polley: Off
      Also From Lionsgate
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This story will stay with you for a very long time.

    Director Polley has crafted this beautiful love story about a woman suffering through the early stages of Alzheimer's and how it affects her and her relationship with her husband. Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent give remarkable performances in portraying a husband and wife who have gone through some turbulent times in their relationship, but who still have a passionate love for one another. Olympia Dukakis and Michael Murphy are also very good as another couple dealing with the pain of this awful disease. For me, the movie was not a downer. It deals with a very serious and painful subject matter, but does so in a way that shows just how much the human spirit can overcome when obstacles are thrown in your way. Both Christie and Pinsent should receive acting awards at the end of the year. Polley should also be recognized as this is truly a marvelous first effort. This is the best film I have seen in 2007. This story will stay with you for a very long time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "But then that's life...isn't it'

    AWAY FROM HER is a remarkable film from Canada for many reasons. The subject matter is tough but handled with sincerity and candor, the story from a short story by Alice Munro has been beautifully adapted for the screen by young and gifted director Sarah Polley, and the cast is homogeneously excellent - topped by shining Oscar worthy performances by Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. Polley has elected to share this tale of descent into Alzheimer's Disease and it effect on all manner of people by taking a subtle fragmentary approach to revealing the story and character development and in doing so she gives a feeling of how the world slowly loses its sense as the brain bumps around in deepening chaos. The setting is Ontario, Canada where a couple has lived in a family home for the past twenty years of their 44-year marriage. Fiona (Julie Christie) remains a lovely woman but her memory is slipping and her husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) adjusts to her diminished ability to cope with compassion and love. Through flashbacks and little moments in the present, the encroaching effects of Alzheimer's Disease become more prominent and together the couple arrives at the decision that placement in Meadowlands, a home of Alzheimer's victims, is necessary. An obligatory separation of 30 days 'while patients settle in' is followed by Gordon's visiting Fiona, only to discover that she doesn't recognize him and has transferred her affection to a mute wheelchair-confined Aubrey (Michael Murphy). Trying to understand this change Gordon visits Aubrey's wife Marian (Olympia Dukakis) and despite the devotion each has for their spouses, they seek some sense of security and rekindled meaning to life by dating. 'It's a strange world' they continue to sigh, struggling to adapt to the life into which they have been thrown. The cast is brilliant: not only does Julie Christy deliver a carefully studied, nuanced, informed portrayal of the Fiona at odds with diminishing brain activity and Gordon Pinsent matching her with a man torn by the throes of their misfortune, but the smaller roles by Dukakis and especially by Kristen Thomson as the worldly wise and kind nurse Kristy are so well defined they astonish us. The isolation of the story is captured in the snows of Ontario by cinematographer Luc Montpellier and Composer Jonathan Goldsmith has fashioned a musical score that relies inventively and subtly on Bach. Sarah Polley may be young in experience as a director and writer, but if the brilliant AWAY FROM HER is any indication of her talent, we are in for a series of significant films. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I loved it

    i loved the movie. I love movies about love stories. If you are into movies about love that is hard to find knowadays then this is the movie for you. Prior to watching the movie I thought that i wouldn't like it because based on what description of it, the movie sounds like "the notebook" however it was great. the substance of it is equal to "the notebook"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews