Saturday, April 18, 2009

In Sickness and in Health

Jim and I just watched a beautifully powerful movie called Away From Her. The story of Grant and Fiona, a couple married nearly 45 years, it lets us share in the heartbreak of their lives once Alzheimer's has taken hold of Fiona.

Julie Christie plays Fiona with the grace and truthfulness and vulnerability we have come to expect from her since first seeing her in Dr. Zhivago forty years ago. When Fiona makes the decision to enter a care center herself, she does so with dignity and humor rather than pathos. Julie Christie was nominated for an Academy Award for the 2007 role. Grant is played by Gordon Pinsent and his love and determination not to lose the essence of his Fiona is contagious.

The third most powerful element of this film is the Alzheimer's itself. There are no memory jokes here; no funny references to "half-timers" and "some-timers". The progress of the illness is accurately and painfully portrayed and what is revealed is that, in fact, there are two victims of the disease.

If you are like me, you'll want to keep the tissues near at hand but while there may be tears, there is a strangely uplifting quality to this film as well.

Quote of the day:

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

See ya down the road,

1 comment:

Old Newsie said...

Thismsounds like something we'd like to see as a followup to the NOTEBOOK movie. A DVD a? Find it at Walmart or Blockbuster?