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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Lovers to Strangers
"Don't worry, I'm just losing my mind" she quips when he catches her absently putting a frying pan in the freezer. But it's not a joke: Fiona has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's." Dennis Harvey

Fiona, Julie Christie, is in the midst of Alzheimer's. She is having symptoms and when she becomes lost in the cold she makes the decision to enter a facility for care...
Published on 25 Feb 2008 by prisrob

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawed but thought provoking
There is a quiet stillness in this film, in the depiction of Altzhiemers. The reaction from the main character to her increasing dementia is largely internal. She goes for beautifully shot walks in the snow. This leads the viewer to struggle with one of the main weaknesses in the plot. Why voluntarily commit yourself to a nursing home when you're still able to function...
Published on 17 Feb 2008 by pete


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawed but thought provoking, 17 Feb 2008
By 
pete "big blue pete" (edinburgh scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
There is a quiet stillness in this film, in the depiction of Altzhiemers. The reaction from the main character to her increasing dementia is largely internal. She goes for beautifully shot walks in the snow. This leads the viewer to struggle with one of the main weaknesses in the plot. Why voluntarily commit yourself to a nursing home when you're still able to function? The film cant really get around this flaw and I was left to question if the character played with a bit too much stoical dignity by Julie Christie was just trying to get away from her husband. That ambiguity may indeed be tied up in the title. Sara Polley the director, who is also a brilliant actress directs a thoughtful film that largely shies away from tackling its subject with as much messy reality as it needs.I did enjoy it though an its worth a watch!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Lovers to Strangers, 25 Feb 2008
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
"Don't worry, I'm just losing my mind" she quips when he catches her absently putting a frying pan in the freezer. But it's not a joke: Fiona has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's." Dennis Harvey

Fiona, Julie Christie, is in the midst of Alzheimer's. She is having symptoms and when she becomes lost in the cold she makes the decision to enter a facility for care. Fiona and her husband, Grant, a retired professor, played by Gordon Pinsent , live on a lake in Ontario and have been married for over 40 years. Loving, fulfilled years and they seem the happy, retired couple. This movie is so well played that we enter into the mindset of both Fiona and Grant and have a glimpse of what their lives might be like. First from the person involved with Alzheimer's and then from the partner's perspective. Julie Christie, one of the most beautiful of actresses, remains as lovely and serene as ever. As Fiona she plays this part with extreme serenity and intelligence. Gordon Pinsent, her husband Grant, is a charismatic man and his part is played with subtlety and perfection. Kristen Thomson, the lead nurse at the facility is wonderful with her compassion, knowledge and insight.

At an early point in their marriage, Grant had affairs with his younger students and even though Fiona stayed there seems to be an unspoken anger within her. At times you wonder if some of her symptoms and behavior are not exaggerated by her anger. At the facility, Fiona becomes involved in the daily life of a man, Aubrey, and seems at times to have forgotten who Grant is. The issue of finding another soul to hang onto when you are going down this path of the unknown seems to me to be a human need. And, as Fiona says to Grant, "Aubrey does not confuse me". Many lovely scenes ensue as the Alzheimer's progresses and Grant visits daily and sits and watches his wife slowly slipping away. Grant does become involved with life again but in his mind Fiona comes first. The life of partners when one has Alzheimer's should be viewed by all.

"In a refreshingly direct, unassuming manner, "Away From Her" considers two great human mysteries: the persistence of love and the workings of the brain. It takes the twilight of a long, mostly happy marriage as a vantage point from which to look back at youth and forward into the waiting darkness. I can't remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true." A. O Scott

Highly, highly Recommended. prisrob 02-09-08
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Poignant Study, 9 April 2009
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a remarkably fine, lyrical, sensitive and evocative study of the effects of Alzheimer's disease with an early onset in middle age. Julie Christie gives a moving and thoroughly convincing performance, which is never overstated, sentimental or mawkish. This is not an overly depressing film, though it is extremely sombre in tone, beautifully shot and rooted in the clearly good intentions of a first-class script. There are questionable decisions taken by the characters at certain points within the narrative, which I will not discuss here for obvious reasons of "spoiling" though I would say that they don't necessarily detract from the integrity of the film. Whereas we may not entirely agree with the paths and decisions taken by the characters, it nontheless informs our understanding of this important condition and its impact upon real lives. It also, inevitably provokes debate and discussion, laying a compelling challenge to our pre-conceptions. Wholeheartedly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal response, 2 April 2009
By 
Ms. Shelagh Robinson (Newcastle under Lyme Staffordshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
This was a very poignant film for me as I have recently been diagnosed as having a rare type of Alzheimer's Disease. I found Julie Christies' portrayal of the sufferer deeply moving, touching both the disintegration of the mind and also the way the essence remains intact.It portrayed the entirety of the relationship between the couple, humour, eroticism and pain with a delicate and sure touch. Wonderful acting. I reccommend it highly for people who may be facing this dreadful disease as it manages to be both honest and yet life affirming.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of 2007: NO: 16, 10 Feb 2008
By 
Mr. F. E. Marioni "fran151278" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
First time director Sarah Polley tells a wonderfull story of a husband and wife (played by Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie) who are faced with the realization that the wife has alzheimers and can no longer live in the outside world, so together they decide to admit her into a home. What follows is a harrowing portrait of how this disease affects not just the victim but those close around.
The performance from Julie Christie is rightly being praised by various award ceremonies but it is the performance of Gordon Pinsent which should be. He is simply breathtaking in every way as he plays the confused, unhappy and angry husband pitch perfect.
If there is a fault and I'm nit-picking here it is very slow moving and can be excruciatingly painfull to see everything this man goes through for his wife.
To sum up Sarah Polley directs this small treat of a film with perfect performances from the two leads.I highy reccomend this film.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet, moving gem of a film, 15 Jan 2008
By 
patashnik (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Amongst a lot of overhyped dross from last year, this little gem of a film stood out by miles. As soon as I saw it I had the feeling that Julie Christie would justly receive awards for her performance. If there is any justice she will receive Academy Award for Best Actress. It is a shame that Gordon Pinsent who plays her character's husband has not been similarly recognised for his subtle yet deeply-moving performance. The synopsis will tell you the storyline. All I have to add is that if you are looking for a superbly-acted, brilliantly-scripted film that does not insult your intelligence or rely on overrated Hollywood names for its power, then this is one for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking story!, 19 May 2008
By 
D. Leggatt "laugh even louder I say!" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Loved this film, found it amazingly tough to watch, sincere empathy for the husband!!!! I agree that for anyone who has first hand experience of such a debilitating illness it may not be a true reflection of how distressing it can be for everyone involved, but for my money it does a great job introducing the concept of what can happen.

Thumbs up, would recommend this film highly. Another great film is The Sea Inside - look it up - you won't be disappointed!!!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Airbushed Alzheimer's, 17 May 2008
By 
Lendrick (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
This is too sanitised a portrayal of Alzheimer's to justify the plaudits it has recivied, much as I am a fan of Julie Christie I don't think her performance here justifies the many awards. I have seen the impact of Alzheimer's at first hand, how distressing it is for the sufferer, and how it strips them of their dignity, there is none of that in this film. Christie remains poised and elegant throughout.

For me the best performance in the film is Kristen Thomson as the nurse, conveying just right note of unsentimental compassion.

The film does have a certain emotional clout, but overall the film is just too understated and glossy, too many shots of snowy lanscapes and Christie looking as beautiful as ever. Too little off the real impact of Alzheimer's
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'A THOUGHT PROVOKING AND INTENSE MOVIE', 31 May 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
At some point in our lives most of us will expierience the sadness that stems from seeing a loved one suffer a dementure related illness.
Seeing someone close, drift in and out of the reality zone is very hard to live with.
Sometimes they might know you, other times they may not, they live in this mysterious world we often cannot enter, the sad thing is we may be 'hurting' but they feel a comfort zone we cannot understand,.which is why films like this may give us an insight.
The film without question does portray many aspects assosiated with the illness and is treated with sensitive regards.to the victim.
'Julie Christie' ( as 'Flora Anderson') plays a credible and sensitive role as a victim of the illness.
'Gordon Pinsent's' ( as 'Grant Anderson') portrayel as the husband showing the despare and confusion in coming to terms with the loss of his wifes company and even recognition of who he had been to her, in my opinion was brilliant.
I have seen one or two films covering the subject, this is not by way of 'award' nominations nessessarily the best of them, but i'll not take anytthing away from the film, it's a worthwhile and sad watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking yet wonderful, 7 Dec 2010
By 
M. Singleton (NW UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Away From Her [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
It's been a long long time since a movie has moved me so much- to tears in fact. The utter sadness I felt for the male character and the hopelessness someone must feel in the same situation just knocked me for six. It actually made me look at life from a different perspective when I woke the next day, as it could in fact happen to any of us. A movie that makes you think and also one that can alter the way you may look at life- is a movie worth watching, unlike most of the drivel available nowadays, even though it's such a sad subject I would reccomend anyone- of any age- to watch it, and realise the importance of research into such a cruel illness.
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Away From Her [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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