Away From Her (2006)

Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona (Julie Christie) have been together for a long time. They’ve endured challenges with their marriage, left the past behind, and plan to spend their retirement years in a cottage once owned by Fiona’s grandparents. However, Fiona is having some trouble, and after a visit to the doctor, she knows time is limited with her deteriorating memory. At the mercy of Alzheimer’s, Fiona pushes Grant to move her to a care facility. This is difficult for him to accept, but he follows her wishes. After a mandatory 30-day separation for Fiona to become accustomed to her new home, Grant finds that she has forgotten him and fallen in love with another resident, Aubrey (Michael Murphy). Grant’s daily visits make him a witness to the woman he knew as his wife slipping away as she cares for another man. Failing to get through to Fiona, he takes comfort in talking to Aubrey’s wife, Marian (Olympia Dukakis), who may hold the key to Fiona’s happiness.

Adapted from the short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Nobel Prize-winning Canadian author Alice Munro, Sarah Polley wrote and directed this film of quiet heartbreak and the inevitability of aging. There’s no shortage of moving performances with cinema greats Pinsent, Christie and Dukakis playing the leads, and they transport you to a touching world of love and sacrifice.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette


Gordon Pinsent

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Canadian connection

Written and directed by Sarah Polley
Kitchener, Ontario
Sarah Polley starred in the 2001 film No Such Thing with Julie Christie.