AWAY FROM HER

The pain of watching those we love slowly begin to slip away is the core of this exceptionally moving film, directed by actor-turned-director Sarah Polley. Based on a short story by Alice Munro, Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona (Julie Christie) -- rockily married for more than 40 years -- are suddenly faced with Fiona’s advancing Alzheimer's. Fiona is resigned and accepting, but Grant finds it difficult, especially when he checks her into a medical facility and she suddenly attaches herself to another patient, Aubrey (Michael Murphy), and continuously ignores her husband when he visits. Grant is not about to fade away without a fight. Polley does wonders with the actors, who give towering performances. She manages true sentiment without being maudlin.

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