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Sneak Preview – Away from Her

Sneak Preview - Away from Her

I’m gonna keep beating a horse. Because it…just…won’t…die…. After I emerged ashen-faced and a little dumber from a screening of 300, I was ready to stop watching movies altogether. Luckily, the next night I was able to catch an advance look at that film’s polar opposite, Sarah Polley’s truly lovely and, for me, wrenching winter poem Away from Her. Elegant and lucidly told, even as it jumps around a bit chronologically, Away from Her, is a remarkably rich debut feature from Polley, who has remained one of the most consistently valuable adult actresses in film for well over a decade. Her mixture of honesty and tremulousness translates beautifully behind the camera with this character-fueled examination of individual and collective memory and loss; she directs with an unemphatic yet undeniably cinematic style. The premise (an elderly husband and wife dealing with her gradual succumbing to Alzheimer’s) didn’t quite prepare me for the complex approach the film would take to its characters’ perspective, a darting, dancing look at the mysteries of the mind and heart, expressed solely in the humane faces of its actors, notably Gordon Pinsent and the astonishing Julie Christie. Much more on this film from Reverse Shot in the coming months.

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