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Aurora Borealis (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

Joshua Jackson , Donald Sutherland , James C.E. Burke  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joshua Jackson, Donald Sutherland, Juliette Lewis, Steven Pasquale, Katie Griffin
  • Directors: James C.E. Burke
  • Writers: Brent Boyd
  • Producers: Chris Miller, Jayne Amelia Larson, Rick Bieber, Scott Disharoon, Sherri Saito
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Liberation Ent
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Aurora Borealis (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(Drama) Ever since the premature death of his father, Duncan (Joshua Jackson) has been content with drifting aimlessly through life. When he takes a job in order to be near his ill grandfather (Sutherland) and grandmother (Fletcher), he begins to find purpose. The newfound sense of being needed, plus a budding romance with Kate (Lewis), begins to change Duncan profoundly.

Joshua Jackson adds another poignant role to his resume as he continues to distance himself from his breakthrough role as hapless Pacey Witter on the television series Dawson's Creek. In the sweet family drama Aurora Borealis, Jackson portrays Duncan, a twentysomething former hockey player who deals with the death of his father--10 years prior--by bonding with his grandfather Ronald (Donald Sutherland), whose own health is deteriorating due to the onset of dementia. Though others dismiss his rambling as the babbles of an old man, Duncan sees that however his grandfather may seem, he has moments of lucidity. His grandfather claims he can see the Aurora Borealis from his balcony, and who is Duncan to contradict him? Both share a sardonic and sarcastic sense of humor, as well as a feeling of guilt about their respective losses. While Duncan sees Ronald as a fairly strong man, his grandmother (Louise Fletcher) worries about her husband's obsession with guns. Duncan also develops feelings for his grandfather's free-spirited nurse Kate (Juliette Lewis), a development that surprises no one. Lewis has played similar roles before, but she brings such vivaciousness to her part that viewers can see why Duncan is smitten. She's emboldened to move forward and start a new life, while he's reticent to let go of the past and move toward the unknown. At one point, Duncan has to decide whether he can let go of his fears to try to make a future for himself with Kate. The film moves at a slow pace, but that actually works with the plot, since it mirrors Duncan's own hesitation. The acting all around is superb, especially in the interactions between Jackson and Sutherland. In the end, it doesn't really matter whether Ronald can see the Northern Lights. If he believes he can, then he can. And that's the kind of optimism that his grandson so desperately needs. --Jae-Ha Kim

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
AURORA BOREALIS is a superb film by James Burke ('In Dark Places' and 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple') from a story by Brent Boyd ('The Green Room' and 'Crazy') and if this film is a sample of how these two fine talents collaborate, we can only hope for more. The cast assembled for this movie gives evidence that the actors deeply admire their vision: it is well deserved.

The setting is winter in Minneapolis, the hometown of the Shorter family: Grandfather Ronald (Donald Sutherland), Grandmother Ruth (Louise Fletcher), and the two grandsons Duncan (Joshua Jackson) and Jacob (Steven Pasquale). The boys' father died at age 39 (10 years prior to the opening of the story) and both boys grew up on their own, feeling deserted by a father who had been a cocaine abuser at one time. Duncan had been a champion hockey player, but when his father died his goals diminished and he has been in and out of odd jobs without a solid look at his future. Jacob runs a nursing home business and when he is not working, he is bringing his girlfriends to Duncan's flat for trysts. Duncan cares for his grandfather Ronald who has multiple illnesses (Parkinson's Disease, dementia) yet who maintains a humble life with Ruth. As Ronald's condition deteriorates, Duncan takes a handyman's job in the complex where his grandparents live and during this time the two men bond more closely than ever: Ronald's fading mind sees northern lights from his apartment window and Duncan out of love and growing understanding lets him believe they are real. Ronald is aware of his mental instability and lets Duncan know that he would like to take his life with a shotgun, an idea Duncan prevents.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film about life and family... April 3, 2007
By car1fsu
I just love this movie. The film isn't manipulative or preachy, it just tells a story and tells it well and manages to make you care about every single character, which is quite an accomplishment. This is James Burke's first film, and I hope he makes many more because he is a talent. He has quite a way with actors (he got a great performance out of everyone, even the smallest characters) and a great sense of tone and control. He also was able to balance the humor of the script with the pathos, and never make it feel forced.

The performances are subtle yet perfectly spot on, with the standouts being Joshua Jackson and Donald Sutherland. This is a true leading man role for Jackson, and takes him beyond just being "Pacey" into being a great, adult actor. Donald Sutherland is also a revelation, and their acting chemistry is fantastic.

If you like films about real characters and real emotions, you should see this movie -- you won't be disappointed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I could have hoped for May 10, 2007
By U2fan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have to admit that I bought this movie because of my Joshua Jackson crush. I am happy to admit that this movie is so good! The acting in it is great, it is shot beautifully and the story line is engaging. I highly recommend this movie.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intergenerational film May 13, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Good film for younger and older adults. Many different stories going on within the movie which keeps people interested. Excellent acting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could watch movies like this all day August 5, 2008
Now this is great movie-making. Ensemble cast is top notch. Script is fabulous, and the soundtrack works great. There isn't a gun anywhere except when Donald Sutherland tries to commit suicide, but it's brief. Sutherland is outstanding in his role as grandpa. A film about life, and home and the meaning of it all. Of course, boy gets girl, but that's one of the few cliches here. Watch this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Outstanding January 7, 2008
I can relate to Sutherland's role as a bitter old man with Parkinson's. My father is in this very condition and the Donald plays it perfectly. This could not have been an easy part for him. All the acting was supurb for that matter. Excellent film, my wife and I highly recommend.

If this movie touched you, also try 'Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love and loss January 7, 2009
By Reader
Main character in this movie is young man Duncan in his early twenties. He has dropped out of college and has difficulty holding onto jobs. His older brother Jacob is having a successful career in the bank; but is cheating on his wife by using his younger brother's appartment with his (co-worker) lover. Soon we learn that both brothers are deeply hurt by the sudden death of their father almost 10 years ago. Their mother has moved to Florida and visits them once a year during summer for a week. Story unfolds in Minneapolis, during winter months which helps us focus on the story itself. There is not much to do in Minneapolis during cold months. Duncan is doting to his grandparents, particularly his grandfather. Both miss, in their own way, Duncan's father David. Grandfather is getting sick (Parkinson's, dementia, kidney and heart problems) and depressed but still wants to help his grandson in finding a direction in life. So it happens that the path to finding a way is thru a home aide, young woman who (Juliette Lewis) checks on the grandfather's health and has a crush on young Dunkan.

For anyone who has ever lost someone dearly loved, this is deeply emotional film. It is sensitive but not overbearing. Film is also full of hope. It is comforting to know that no matter how difficult it is to deal with loss, and the fact that sometimes it may take a long time for any person to come to terms with a loss of another person, we all have to find our own way to reconcile our feelings, intentions and define our future from that point on.

Wonderful cast includes Juliette Lewis, Joshua Jackson, Katie Griffin and K. Sutherland.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay.
Its okay.
Published 12 days ago by Song weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Transaction
great movie, easy transaction...thanks.
Published 2 months ago by john goss
4.0 out of 5 stars Aurora Borealis
Donald Southerland is one of my favorite actors. in this movie he pulls your heart strings,
in his roll he bringing to mind parents don't last forever. food for thought.
Published 5 months ago by S. hata
5.0 out of 5 stars aurora Borealis
It was a great movie... On care of aging grandparents.. Joshua Jackson was great in this role... I recommend..Can't say anything more
Published 7 months ago by nancy
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
It was just not my speed. I can do without the cuss words. I wish I was forewarned and wouldn't have spent the money.
Published 9 months ago by Aunty Lei
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
Touching story, Donald Sutherland performance is very impressive, and Juliette Lewis is great in this movie, too. Great job portraying Parkinson's disease.
Published 9 months ago by Eric M. Montiel
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gem
Not much else to say about this film that hasn't already been said. Buy it. You'll like it. Some movies for some reason don't merit adequate studio marketing budgets, and the rest... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jazzcat
3.0 out of 5 stars Language
The storyline is alright. The language though is terrible. I didn't think it would be that bad and i can handle cussing but the F bomb is dropped in every sentence practically and... Read more
Published 19 months ago by bdlong
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is one of my favorite all time.
I love Joshua Jackson's acting he always gives a very believable preformance that draws you into the movie as if you are there with him in the story. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kittyn
5.0 out of 5 stars finally
I have been searching for this movie at a reasonable price for several years. No store carries it nor seems to have even heard of the movie - what a shame. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Scott S.
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