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Away from Her

Unforgettable performances in a forgettable debut film
By BRETT MICHEL  |  May 8, 2007

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Away From Her.

“I never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life.” She’s Fiona (Julie Christie), a radiant woman whose luster has diminished through the unkind embrace of Alzheimer’s. Her devoted husband, Grant (Gordon Pinsent), a retired university lecturer with a less-than-devoted past (something Fiona hasn’t forgotten), has just painfully deposited his wife at an assisted-living community. Actress Sarah Polley’s feature-directing debut boasts outstanding performances, but in adapting fellow Canadian Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came over the Mountain” — a short story of memories lost and unexpected loves found — she’s confused Munro’s elegantly straightforward structure: Polley adopts a fragmented narrative approach that’s not unlike her heroine’s fractured thoughts, and she burdens her film with flashbacks and visual representations of spoken metaphors. Christie and Pinsent, however, remain unforgettable.
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  Topics: Reviews , Alice Munro, Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent,  More more >
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL