Away From Her

DVD - 2007
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Away From Her
Fiona and Grant are an Ontario couple who have been married for over 40 years. During the twilight of their years, Grant is forced to face the fact that Fiona's 'forgetfulness' actually is Alzheimer's. After Fiona wanders away and is found, the decision is made for her to go into a nursing home. For the first time in their relationship, they are forced to undergo a separation since this is the nursing home 'no-vistors, ' first 30 days policy of a patient's stay. When Grant visits Fiona after the orientation period, he is devastated to find out that not only has she seemingly forgotten him, but she has transferred her affections to another man. As the distance between husband and wife grows, Grant must draw upon his love for Fiona to perform an act of self-sacrifice in order to ensure her happiness.


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Jan 03, 2015
  • Nursebob rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A soft, gentle film about a couple coming undone due to Alzheimer’s disease. As Grant enters his autumn years, Fiona slowly retreats into an eternal springtime of sunshine and fading memories. Pinsent plays the husband with great restraint, often using nothing more than a glance to convey the depths of the man’s despair while Christie brings a sense of graceful dignity to Fiona, holding her head high even as she fades away. But it is Dukakis’ crusty yet practical Marian that keeps the film firmly anchored and prevents it from slipping into maudlin sentimentality. Polley accents the film with subtle shifts of timelines, a keen eye for shadows in a wintry wood, delicate wildflowers covered in frost.....and a few sly elements of pure Canadiana that let you know this film belongs north of the 49th. A remarkable achievement.

Dec 06, 2014

This video is defective - it stopped around 1:05 and I couldn't fast forward or anything to get the movie going again.

Nov 24, 2014
  • jmikesmith rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Grant (Gordon Pinsent) just wants to be with his wife of 44 years, Fiona (Julie Christie). But Fiona knows and accepts that dementia is setting in, and she's losing herself. This Canadian film by first-time director Sarah Polley captures Grant's struggles to come to terms with Fiona's journey into senility.

The acting in this simple tale based on an Alice Munro short story is powerful and compelling. The staging and cinematography, however, are odd at times. There are some beautiful scenes, but there are also some scenes that either contain ambiguous symbolism or outright continuity errors. Although the story seems to cover at least a year, all the scenes are shot in winter; characters are always bundled up in heavy coats and scarves. Cross-country skiing is a recurring motif. It's as though Polley is experimenting with different camera and lighting techniques on her first feature, so there is an inconsistent feel to the visuals.

Still, this is a proud Canadian film that is touching and heartfelt.

Jul 18, 2014
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Julie Christie, one of the best British actors ever, plays a wife being afflicted with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It is the first time I have seen Christie in a serious film in the last 30 years and she is great. Sadly for film fans, this will probably be her last serious film as she herself has been afflicted with a rare disorder called autobiographic amnesia. A great lesson of this film is that nothing in life lasts forever, so maybe we should appreciate the good things in life a little bit more when we have them. Remember the older films where vampires stole our loved ones from us. Well now we have Alzheimer’s disease that steals our souls from us. This is something ugly that we must acknowledge, so live life the best while you have the opportunity.

Jul 18, 2014

movie drug some, loved Julie Christie but the plot was uninteresting

Jun 19, 2014
  • ncs1961 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Julie is lovely and so so talented - I had forgotten what a joy she is in a film. Everyone of a certain age has or will have the specter of Alzheimer dementia in their lives. Away from Her is a good one to see - for now and later.

Apr 18, 2014
  • gerrygibeault rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Very moving film about a couple facing the harsh reality of Alzheimer's disease. Well worth watching.

Feb 04, 2014
  • PatrickLongworth1969 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A hard film to watch but very good just the same. Hard to watch because I have faced my own mortality and at present I am not in a relationship and so seeing what the man and the woman went through together and apart from each other was definitely something to ponder.

If any film could make me have sober second thoughts about being in a relationship, this film is the one I would say, though of course nobody can say for sure what will happen in their lives from day to day.

Oct 26, 2013
  • mmg2681 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A really sad, but real subject matter.

May 22, 2013

If you are interested we talked about this movie at the Carlingwood Library Film Club. We discuss three movies a month and we meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the Month.

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Mar 01, 2009
  • dparent rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An older couple who have been married for a lifetime face a challenging time when they realize that the wife has Alzheimer's. They have never been separated and suddenly she must be placed in a home for her safety.


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