Well, this is the Golden Grouches, so I guess it’s about time that I got grouchy. I went in with low expectations, and they were basically met. Away from Her was a boring drama with no real plot; it lacked tension, exposition, and in general…anything interesting. To top it off, Julie Christie’s role wasn’t even the leading part. The film was about Grant Anderson, played by Gordon “One Look” Pinsent, and how he coped with watching his wife fall apart.

For a change, I won’t write much about Away From Her, and that’s mostly because it was so uninteresting. The only scenes that had any buzz to them were when Olympia Dukakis, in a well-done bitch role, and Pinsent played off each other. Otherwise, I was bored silly. Like Adam said, the play-by-play patient in the nursing home was the only time I even cracked a smile during the film.

Having been fortunate enough to not know anyone stricken with Alzheimer’s, I can’t tell how accurate Christie’s performance was…and based on watching her, I can imagine it’d be heart-wrenching. That said, I agree with John that she was overacting at times. Also…I said it before, but this was a supporting role. Pinsent was the lead, which is one reason why the film suffered.

I had major problems with Sarah Polley’s screenplay too, and they contributed to my apathy toward Christie’s character Fiona. In order to fully comprehend the damage Alzheimer’s does to the human brain, I’d have to see what made Fiona such an engaging, lively, and fascinating person in the first place. Pinsent’s Grant is distant and morose for practically the whole film… so there’s no real entrance into the pre-Alzheimer’s relationship.

Away from Her’s a film all about the “After” without any “Before,”and without that all-important context,
I never bought into caring about the central figures of the film.

One last note…the way Polley wrote the nursing home manager really bothered me. She was so broadly-written, with no empathy or subtlety, that it made the film feel like a Haggis morality play.

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