Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Away from Her

AWAY FROM HER (Sarah Polley - Director) adapted from short story by Alice Munro - my review of the movie:
Sarah convinced all her first-choice actors to commit to the movie. So as you are watching, part of you is wondering what she was thinking when she chose these particular actors and why did they take a chance with a film that leaves so much for the audience to fill in for themselves. Any weakness in the actors isn't going to be covered by great action scenes or clever dialogue. It requires very self-assured people to even attempt it. There isn't even any award title for movies that can be shown to illustrate a lecture topic - how one begins young and full of life and accepts the inevitable loss of self when everything is just too complex and has to be simplified. Away from Her shows the journey from getting married because why not, to the complexity of actually holding a marriage together to the reality that people don't grow old at the same pace. One person becomes frail and bows out while the other person faces all the day-to-day realities alone and lonely. This film requires work - a going into one's own interior - a constant checking within oneself as to whether or not, based on one's own life experience, this is portraying a truth. I found some of the lines hard to hear and regretted not watching it with subtitles - there are no lines that can be skipped over. I personally loved the film but I've had a lifetime of observing neuro-development and neuro-degeneration. The story rings true. Alice Munro and Sarah Polley are masterful storytellers. The actors make it look easy but truth is an extraordinarily difficult thing to get just right.

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