|Genre: Art/Foreign, Drama and Adaptation |
|Running Time: 110 min. |
|Release Date: 05/04/2007 (Limited) |
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Some strong language
Grant and Fiona have been married for decades. They have been through rough patches, but their lives are inextricably connected and their relationship seems idyllic: they share a private language and obvious affection for one another. Now retired, they live comfortably in a house in the country, but their contentment is permanently disrupted when Fiona's memory starts to deteriorate. Determined not to saddle Grant with her declining health, she insists upon going to a rest home which only tears Grant apart. He feels guilty about decades-old behavior, and his state is worsened by the rules of Fiona's new residence, which demand that he not communicate or visit with her for a lengthy period of time.
As the film starts we are shown clearly that the relationship shared by Grant and Fiona is one to which all married couples would aspire. Then illness begins to slowly tear them apart. As is often the case with mental illness, Fionaís condition causes more discernable disruption in Grantís life than in hers. She gracefully accepts the decision to move into an assisted care facility, likely unaware that it would forever end their relationship as they had come to know it. Grant tries to pretend that the move will be only temporary; something a well educated man would know to be untrue.
The acting by Julie Christie is outstanding and well worthy of the multiple award nominations she has already received. Gordon Pinsant and Olympia Dukakis turn in very fine performances as well. The filming took place in Canada and seems very appropriate for the mood; generally cold and snowy landscapes mixed with the occasional warmth and rustic charm of the coupleís lake house.
The facility into which Fiona moves looks to be better than most. Although it is clearly institutional it tries to be warn and cheery. The employees range from caring and engaged to rather cold and bureaucratic. I was surprised given that Canada is a nation of socialized medicine, to hear Marian (Dukakis) express concern that the cost to keep her husband there would likely force her to sell her house.
Having lost my father after a lengthy battle with Alzheimerís disease, I wasnít really looking forward to this film. Now, although it brought back some sad memories, Iím glad I did.Grade: B
12/24/2007 - Bob Stanza
01/23/2008 - Patricia Mistric