The only thing we can say about Sarah Polley’s screenwriting and directorial debut is: wow! Basing her script on the short story “The Bear Came over the Mountain” by Alice Munro, Polley had created a masterpiece.
Julie Christie plays Fiona, a woman suffering from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. She and her husband, Grant (Gordon Pinsent), have not been apart from each other for nearly four and a half decades, so understandably he takes it quite hard when she decides it would be best for her to enter into a nursing hope for people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Over the course of time, Grant becomes somewhat alarmed, and even a little jealous, over the strength of friendship that she develops with a fellow patient named Aubrey. As can be expected, Grant has to struggle to come to terms with this new relationship and with Fiona’s fading memory.
Although Julie Christie has been widely recognized for her performance (nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, winner of the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and National Board of Review, Screen Actors Guild for the same, as well as numerous film critics societies), and not to take anything away from that, the story is driven by Gordon Pinsent’s performance (he won the award for Outstanding Male Performance from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists…they’re version of the SAG Awards). Also of note is Olympia Dukakis playing Marian, Aubrey’s wife, as she also needs to adjust to life with her husband, whom she has brought home from the nursing home. And speaking of her husband, Michael Murphy plays a daring role, not speaking a word as Aubrey. It is a real shame that there is no Oscar category for ensemble cast.
Somewhat reminiscent of the closing scenes of The Notebook, this film is much deeper, much more emotional. It shows the true effects…...