Alzheimer's without melodrama

Review B+

May 18, 2007|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Movies centering on Alzheimer's are extraordinarily tough to pull off, so easily does the subject lend itself to mawkish sentiment or cheap melodrama.

Away From Her, with Julie Christie as the wife fading away and Gordon Pinsent as the husband loathe to let her go, avoids all such problems by never substituting pathos for poignancy, by never insisting on that one big emotional scene guaranteed to shake the rafters, and by relying on an experienced cast to make its points without histrionics. The result is a quiet, heartfelt story of love and loss, character and identity, the first feature from 28-year-old writer-director Sarah Polley, exercising restraint that belies her years and experience.

Away From Her (Lionsgate) Starring Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent. Written and directed by Sarah Polley. Rated PG-13. Time 110 minutes.

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