For Reel

Away from Her (2006)
May 27, 2011, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Sarah Polley

Adapting Alice Munro’s short story from the New Yorker entitled The Bear Came Over the Mountain, Sarah Polley’s Away from Her largely distances itself from Grant’s guilted history of affairs and instead focuses on the dignity of Fiona and the mutual acceptance of two lovers with an uncertain future. What separates this material from movie-of-the-week melodrama – which the topic of Alzheimer’s so threatens to become – is Polley’s avoidance of simply demonizing the disease. Fiona handles her mental deterioration with tremendous bravery, and Grant, rather than becoming angry, continues to passively love his wife with a supportive adherance to her every wish. With a female director, the film also contains a refreshingly progressive depiction of marriage – though Grant’s husbandly devotion is idealized, Fiona takes on the dual role of wife and mother, gracefully guiding Grant on his path to acceptance.

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