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Away from Her 2006 PG-13 CC

(208) IMDb 7.6/10
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The beautiful and moving story of an older couple's love that transcends Alzheimer's disease.

Gordon Pinsent, Stacey LaBerge
1 hour, 50 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Sarah Polley
Starring Gordon Pinsent, Stacey LaBerge
Supporting actors Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis, Deanna Dezmari, Clare Coulter, Thomas Hauff, Alberta Watson, Grace Lynn Kung, Lili Francks, Andrew Moodie, Wendy Crewson, Judy Sinclair, Tom Harvey, Carolyn Hetherington, Melanie Merkosky, Kristen Thomson, Jessica Booker, Janet van de Graaf, Michael Murphy
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

144 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Glenn A. Buttkus on July 15, 2007
Format: DVD
27 year old Sarah Polley made her directorial debut for a feature film with this movie. She had previously directed four short films, and a TV episode. Most of her past notoriety was for being a fine actress, having already appeared in more than 50 films since 1985. She was 9 years old when she did Terry Gilliam's ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1988). She spent several years as a child star on the television series ROAD TO AVONLEA. She appeared in THE SWEET HEREAFTER, GUINEVERE, and in THE CLAIM (2000). Recently I enjoyed her work with Sam Shepard in Wim Wender's DON'T COME KNOCKING (2005).

Polley's mother died when she was 11 years old. She considers actress Julie Christie to be her "surrogate mother". She worked with her twice before in NO SUCH THING (2000), and LIFE OF WORDS (2005). Originally Polley wanted to do a feature film about a 12 year old girl who finds herself being the star of a TV series, something she knows a little about -but there was no financial interest. Then she went with adapting a short story she liked by Alice Munro, THE BEAR CAME OVER THE MOUNTAIN. She wrote the screenplay with Julie Christie specifically in mind to play Fiona.

The film's plot revolves around a retired 60ish professor who lives a comfortable lifestyle with his gorgeous wife in a cabin his mother used to own. They are forced to face the harsh reality of the wife's impending cognitive decline secondary to Alzheimer's disease. While still coherent, Fiona (Julie Christie) convinces her husband, Grant (Gordon Pinsent) that it would be prudent to allow her to check herself into a special retirement home that specializes in Alzheimer's patients. Reluctantly, the husband agreed.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By R. DelParto VINE VOICE on July 26, 2007
Format: DVD
AWAY FROM HER is a film about an elderly couple that copes with Alzheimer's disease. Director Sarah Polley take's Alice Munro's short story, "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," and shows viewers the relationship between Fiona (Julie Christie) and Grant (Gordon Pinsent). Although the film is based on Munro's story, Polley adds more to the film's storyline, such as her focus on Grant's denial and slow acceptance of Fiona's deteriorating condition, and the long drawn out scenes at Meadowlake, the facility where Fiona decides to spend the rest of her life, which adds another dimension to story and the film.

Polley does a fine job in showing the intricacies that may occur in a marriage. The film takes place in Ontario, Canada, where a somewhat remote and snow-covered landscape captures the cold and emotionless feelings between Grant and Fiona. With the use of subtle home movie-like snapshots that capture the couple's past, the images show the irony of their lives; this is yet another film where the dialogue between the characters are short and ambiguous, but their facial expression fill-in the gaps where nothing is said as well as the film's soundtrack which complement the scenes.

The film is purely fiction but interesting. Grant shows his undying love for Fiona by making her as comfortable as possible - he comes to visit her everyday and reads her favorite books about Iceland; she does not remember being from Iceland. And when Grant finds out that Fiona befriends one of the residents at Meadowlake, Aubrey (Michael Murphy), he is somewhat resilient and disconcerted with her behavior, but eventually accepts it in order to make her happy. In turn, Grant has an unusual meeting/affair with Aubrey's wife, Marion (Olympia Dukakis).
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Birdman on September 11, 2007
Format: DVD
There is a line from YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU in which Grandpa asks:
"How many of us, when we're young, would settle for what we eventually get?"

What is extraordinary about Julie Christie's performance in this film is that Fiona settles for, and builds upon, what life deals her with a level of emotional discipline half inspiring, half maddening to her husband.

As the husband, Gordon Pinsent delivers a performance as racked with confusion, pain and nuance as any I have seen in movies for years. The complexity of his character is as enigmatic as Fiona's. Together, their love story provides hope for anyone who has stopped believing in love.

While this film sheds light on Fiona's descent into Alzheimer's disease, the film is neither about dementia nor is it about the hopelessness that often surrounds it. It is about the unexpected storms that overtake relationships and the ways in which two good people come to grips with disruption. For Alice Munro, whose story provides the basis of the screenplay, love is riddled with extraordinary pain, but it often conquers the odds.

Gorgeous nature cinematography is a character in the film. In the opening scene, as in occasional scenes after, the lovers cross-country ski across frozen landscapes suffused with an Alpine glow. They are at peace, saying few words but sharing what could never be spoken.

The scene in which Fiona, sensing her decline into dementia, becomes momentarily lost -- only to become a snow angel, suggests that even early dementia has its respite.

Thre were a number of minor issues that troubled me. Julie Christie's American/Canadian accent wasn't persuasive at the start.
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