Dave's Rating:


… moving but unsentimental …

Who's in It: Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, Kristen Thomson, Wendy Crewson

The Basics: A couple who've been married for 44 years see their courage tested when the wife (Christie) develops Alzheimer's. From that point on, it's back and forth between a sterile nursing home for her — where she develops a strangely romantic relationship with one of the other patients — and a sad, lonely house for him. Bring the Kleenex. In fact, bring a whole box.

What's the Deal? All the wrong people are going to end up seeing this excellent movie. See, the screenings I had an opportunity to attend conflicted with other films I had to write about, so I paid for a ticket on opening day — and my partner and I were the only people in the theater under 60. So what I'm saying here, younger filmgoers, is that you should see this movie. It's moving but unsentimental, and it's about all the stuff that old people know but that you don't yet. It's as close as you'll get to great, meaningful fogy wisdom without actually hanging out at a nursing home. And you're not going to get it from Spider-Man 3.

Pedigree: From first-time director Sarah Polley (star of The Sweet Hereafter and Dawn of the Dead) and producer Atom Egoyan, from whom it looks like she learned a little about nonlinear structure. It's based on Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain."

Who's Perfect: Christie, one of the coolest actresses ever. At 66, she is more interesting to watch in a movie than a dozen people half or a third her age. That's one thing about getting to be an old actor. It doesn't have to mean you have to become an empty, Botoxed husk. It can mean that you simply get more awesome, which is exactly what she's done.

Who to Take: Someone you want to plan your will with.


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