Away From Her


1h 50m 2006
Away From Her

Brief Synopsis

An aging couple faces the wife's Alzheimer's.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lejos de ella, Longe dela, Lontano da lei, ihrer Seite, An
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Foreign
Adaptation
Release Date
2006
Production Company
Absolutely Famished Catering; Catering By Davids; Hanway Films; Hanway Films; Harold Greenberg Fund; Movie Central; Ontario Media Development Corporation; Performance Solutions; TTlTfilm Canada; The Film Farm; The Movie Network; Vertice Cine
Distribution Company
Lionsgate; A-Film Distribution; Ascot Elite Entertainment Group; Ascot Elite Entertainment Group; Bazuca; Cathay Film Organization; Distribution Company; Einhorn (Austria); Filmhouse; La Fabrique De Films; Lionsgate; Lionsgate; Majestic Filmverleih; Metrodome Distribution; Miracle (Denmark); Myndform; SF Studios; Ster-Kinekor; Svensk Filmindustri Norway; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m

Synopsis

Married for almost 50 years, Grant's and Fiona's commitment to each other appears unwavering. Their daily life is filled with tenderness and humor; yet this serenity is broken by Fiona's increasingly evident memory loss--and her restrained references to a past betrayal. For a while, the couple is able to casually dismiss these unwelcome changes. But when neither Fiona nor her husband can deny any longer that she is being consumed by Alzheimer's disease, the couple is forced to wrenchingly redefine the limits of their love and loyalty--and face the complex, inevitable transition from lovers to strangers.

Crew

Mark Ahee

Special Effects Technician

Cynthia Amsden

Unit Publicist

Pam Armstrong

Song

Richard Armstrong

On-Set Dresser

Jeff Arp

Production Assistant

Ernest Ashford

Apprentice

Michael Banton-jones

Music Engineer

Bradley Bell

Swing

Brenda Blake

Legal Counsel

Michael Blatchford

Loader

Helen Bone

Driver

Derek Bonin

Digital Effects Artist

Martin Boon

Driver

Darren Boyce

Key Grip

Glen Brooks

Location Assistant

Gordon Brooks

Location Assistant

Matthew Brown

Music Lyrics

Ralph Bruzzese

Security

Sean Bryan

Driver

John Buchan

Casting

James Burton

Craft Service

Pierre Cadieux

Executive

Alan Cairns

Driver

Shawn Cantelon

On-Set Dresser

Grace Carnale-davis

Executive

John Carr

Driver

Louis Casado

Color Timer

Kathy Choi

Sound Editor

Lorraine Clark

Other

Kathleen Climie

Production Designer

Megan Conacher

Casting

Sue Conley

Dialogue Editor

Jozie Conte

Wardrobe Assistant

Donna Croce

Script Supervisor

Rae Crombie

Property Master

Erik Culp

Foley Recordist

Michael Curtis

Swing

Heather Dahlstrom

Production Assistant

Dennis Daigle

Swing

Lindy Davies

Consultant

Paul Davies

Driver

Colin Davis

Film Lab

Tara Dixit

Assistant Camera

Mike Dobroski

Colorist

Rick Dubeau

Grip

Greg Dunfield

Executive

Robert Dyer

Carpenter

John Dykstra

Foley Recordist

Atom Egoyan

Executive Producer

John Elliott

Foley Artist

Mike Ellis

Visual Effects

Hans Engel

Carpenter

Rojuano Espiritu

On-Set Dresser

Matthew Fernandes

Art Department

Andrew Finch

Apprentice

Artur Forst

Driver

Christie Friesen

Audio

Dave Fuller

Painter

Michael Gagnon

Special Effects Coordinator

Michael Gibson

Photography

Doug Gillespie

Production Accountant

Barry Gilmore

Dialogue Editor

Keith Gobey

Driver

Rejean Goderre

Hair Stylist

Ed Goldin

Accountant

Jonathan Goldsmith

Original Music

Raymond Gourlay

Apprentice

Jerry Greben

Stand-In

Rob Gyorgy

On-Line Editor

Rhonda Hall

Stand-In

Steve Hammond

Foley Artist

Jeff Hannford

Film Lab

Debra Hanson

Costume Designer

Frank Hardin

Generator Operator

Geoff Hill

Special Effects Technician

Victoria Hirst

Coproducer

Marni Hogg

Stunt Double

Sonia Hosko

Assistant

Janice Ierulli

Dialogue Editor

Daniel Iron

Producer

Caldwell Jeffery

Looping Coordinator

Jeremy Jemec

Best Boy Electric

Sean Jensen

Camera Operator

Ed Johnson

Stunt Double

Brian Jones

Construction Manager

Chuck Kahn

Assistant Editor

Liise Keeling

Coach

Terry Kelly

Gaffer

Doug Kilgore

Coordinator

Mary Kirkland

Set Decorator

Jason Knight

Casting Associate

George Koller

Music

Sam Komaromi

Projectionist

Emmanouil Kourtikakis

Carpenter

Mark Kueper

Film Lab

Mark Kueper

Colorist

Stacy Laliberte

Wardrobe Supervisor

K.d. Lang

Song Performer

Jacque Larcenaire

Apprentice

Don Leclaire

Grip

Kelly Lee

Medic

Mandy Ley

Sound Mixer

Kirk Lynds

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Murray Mainprize

Generator Operator

Douglas Mankoff

Executive Producer

Stephanie Markowitz

Assistant

Ben Marrello

Assistant Director

Hugh Marsh

Music

David Mccallum

Dialogue Editor

Barbara Mccullam

Assistant Director

Emily Mchugh

Wardrobe Assistant

Kent Mcintyre

Set Decorator

Alan Mckenna

Assistant Director

Patrick Mckenna

Driver

Jonathan Mckenzie

Carpenter

Dave Mclaren

Transportation Captain

Christine Mcleod

Adr

Bill Mcmillan

Sound Recordist

Dave Mead

Driver

Kirk Middleton

Special Effects Technician

Ted Miller

Production Manager

George Mirosznik

Driver

Luc Montpellier

Dp/Cinematographer

Luc Montpellier

Director Of Photography

Randolph P Morgan

Assistant Location Manager

Hernan Morris

Video

Joe Morrow

Assistant Editor

Rob Mountjoy

Assistant Camera

Barry Moyer

Driver

Alice Munro

Source Material

Daniel J Murphy

Assistant Director

David Murray

Driver

Eric Myles

Visual Effects Supervisor

John Naslen

Adr

Jeff Nelson

Location Manager

Jordan Nieuwland

Matte Painter

Mark Olexiuk

Dailies

Crystal Olsen-silden

Assistant Costume Designer

Rahul Parekh

Dolly Grip

Andy Pascoe

Special Effects Technician

Wayne Pells

Script Supervisor

Julie Pereira

Assistant Production Coordinator

Lisa Perone

Production Coordinator

Stine Petersen

Craft Service

Winston Phillips

Film Lab

Diane Pitblado

Dialect Coach

Sarah Polley

Screenplay

Geoff Pope

Grip

Paul Prucha

Driver

Dave Puddister

Driver

Brian Reid

Other

Trevor Risbridger

On-Line Editor

Dave Rose

Sound Effects Editor

Loreen Ruddock

Swing

Ryan Sammut

Carpenter

Eli Schwanz

Assistant

Zinka Shankland

Hair Stylist

Jerry Skavinsky

Transportation Coordinator

Lou Solakofski

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Kristen Somborac

Grip

Matthew Stark

Boom Operator

Craig Steele

Best Boy Grip

Eric Summerley

Carpenter

Rachel Sutherland

Post-Production Supervisor

Paul Talbott

Adr

Jane Tattersall

Sound Designer

Chris Taylor

Driver

Allyn Terry

Swing

Chris Trebilcock

Assistant Director

Micheline Trepanier

Makeup Artist

Serge Tsukanov

On-Set Dresser

Benno Tutter

Art Director

Michael Tuttie

Apprentice

Simone Urdl

Producer

Gorett Vala

Special Effects Technician

Catherine Viot

Makeup Artist

Aleksandar Vojvodic

On-Set Dresser

Jennifer Weiss

Producer

Hsing-min Wen

Apprentice

Symone Wen

Apprentice

David Wharnsby

Editor

Brian White

Other

Richard Wilcox

Apprentice

Bill Wilson

Driver

Steve Winn

Grip

Cindy Yetman

Assistant Property Master

Neil Young

Song Performer

Neil Young

Song

Ray Young

Craft Service

Film Details

Also Known As
Lejos de ella, Longe dela, Lontano da lei, ihrer Seite, An
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Foreign
Adaptation
Release Date
2006
Production Company
Absolutely Famished Catering; Catering By Davids; Hanway Films; Hanway Films; Harold Greenberg Fund; Movie Central; Ontario Media Development Corporation; Performance Solutions; TTlTfilm Canada; The Film Farm; The Movie Network; Vertice Cine
Distribution Company
Lionsgate; A-Film Distribution; Ascot Elite Entertainment Group; Ascot Elite Entertainment Group; Bazuca; Cathay Film Organization; Distribution Company; Einhorn (Austria); Filmhouse; La Fabrique De Films; Lionsgate; Lionsgate; Majestic Filmverleih; Metrodome Distribution; Miracle (Denmark); Myndform; SF Studios; Ster-Kinekor; Svensk Filmindustri Norway; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m

Award Nominations

Best Actress

2007
Julie Christie

Best Adapted Screenplay

2007

Articles

Away From Her - Julie Christie in Sarah Polley's Directorial Debut - AWAY FROM HER on DVD


In this age of sensitive hit men and soulful serial killers, dramas about the 'mundane' problems of real people have become scarce. Ordinary domestic issues long ago became the province of TV movies, which were once called 'disease of the week' films. Now they've been largely replaced by stories about murders or the terrorist next door. The prestigious Away from Her is a thoughtful meditation on the problem of caring for older people, a theme that may become more prevalent as the baby boomer population slides into retirement age. More people are living longer lives, and placing burdens on children unprepared to be caregivers.

Away from Her earned high praise for its acting, and the beautiful Julie Christie provided enough of a publicity hook to secure a wide release. Singled out for special mention is the fine work by writer - director Sarah Polley, an accomplished actress fondly remembered as the spunky heroine Sally Salt in Terry Gilliam's Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Away from Her is a deeply affecting drama about the fragility of human relationships.

Synopsis: Well-to-do retirees Grant and Fiona (Gordon Pinsent & Julie Christie) must come to terms with Alzheimer's disease when Fiona begins to experience memory problems. Fiona becomes disconnected from her life, and undergoes personality swings in which she resents her husband for long-forgotten indiscretions. The experts recommend that she needs care outside the home. Persuaded to check Fiona into a care home for a 30 day 'trial', Gordon is hurt by the enforced separation. But he's devastated when Fiona shuts him out of her life: in her identity confusion, she finds a measure of inner peace taking care of another male patient, Aubrey (Michael Murphy). Unsure exactly what to do, Grant contacts Aubrey's wife Marian (Olympia Dukakis).

It was always assumed that audiences went to the movies to escape from unpleasant everyday realities. Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) is a shattering story of an aged couple (Victor Moore & Beulah Bondi) forced to separate when neither of their grown children can make room for both of them. Their desire to live together to the end is ultimately considered an inconvenience, and the film ends with a devastating farewell at a train station. The movie is now hard to see but its message hasn't dated a bit.

The characters of Away from Her must deal with a problem that affects millions. Grant faces an unexpected calamity when Alzheimer's strikes his beloved Fiona. She becomes forgetful and disoriented but also grows emotionally distant. They've been inseparable for years and would never think of breaking up, but in her dementia Fiona no longer has control over old resentments. Alzheimer's doesn't just make one absent-minded, it also causes personality changes. Its effect is like the drug in Nicholas Ray's Bigger than Life: the guarded, unpredictable stranger that emerges from Fiona was always there, suppressed but waiting. Grant has no choice but to accept that she is slipping away.

Grant must be cajoled into letting Fiona 'try out' the care facility, which mandates a 30-day no-contact separation period. He is desperate not to let go but wants to do the best for her; and Grant's worst fears are realized when Fiona becomes a virtual stranger to him. The professionals help Grant understand what's happening. Fiona takes to her new life because it's simple and uncomplicated. With a lifetime's 'baggage' to deal with, the work of maintaining her relationship with Grant is confusing, exhausting. Fiona would rather Grant just go away. Worse yet, she throws him over to pick up after the wheelchair-bound Aubrey, an easily upset stroke case who doesn't, or cannot, talk. Fiona feels useful and needed when dealing with Aubrey, an infant-man who gives meaning to her daily routine. Grant is of course destroyed. His beloved Fiona is being taken away from him.

Grant's situation becomes more complicated as he spends time with Aubrey's lonely wife Marian. Marian has her own reasons to feel bitter and deserted, even if her husband isn't at fault. And she isn't the type to suffer quietly. Grant couldn't possibly abandon Fiona, as there are days of clarity when she is able to acknowledge affection for him. Deep inside, even the most complacent of us fears that our loved ones might turn away, refuse to recognize us. Away from Her shows that emotional alienation is more than a subject for paranoid fantasies ...it happens.

At first glance Away from Her seems to be stacking the deck. Grant and Fiona are a handsome, active couple with decent health and no money problems. Their retirement is spent at a secluded lakeside house, and Fiona's lavish nursing home would be way too costly for all but the very rich. But the movie acknowledges this when Grant is made aware that most of the people taking such good care of his wife do not have the same choices. Aubrey's wife Marian has fewer options, and has only some equity in a house that she dare not sell.

Sarah Polley's splendid direction emphasizes the appropriately snowbound landscape. The cinematography does not strive for glamorizing effects, although Ms. Christie arguably has the most beautiful facial wrinkles on record. The only stylistic change occurs in a few flashbacks in which the young Fiona is played by Stacey LaBerge (and looks like a morph between Julie Christie and Susan George). Polley's dramatic pacing allows the sensitive cast to work out the emotional problems of these characters, without begging for sympathy. Gordon Pinsent's Grant yields to 'doing what's right' and learns to be more understanding. Olympia Dukakis' Marian begins a bit cranky, and then becomes amusing. We eventually realize that at 70 Marian has the same needs to fulfill that she had at 30. At one time aggressively in control of her life, Julie Christie's Fiona is forcibly reduced to a different scale of living.

Lionsgate's DVD of Away from Her is an enhanced widescreen transfer with the expected fine image and audio. The disc begins with a charity plea for Alzheimer's research hosted by Olympia Dukakis; she also signs a printed insert in each package asking for help to oppose a disease that has reached epidemic proportions: The Alzheimer's Association.

Julie Christie's sparse full-length commentary provides some interesting observations -- in comparison to the facilities she's seen for wealthy people, the movie's nursing home is an outright fantasy. Christie praises her co-stars and speaks about her admiring relationship with Sarah Polley.

A brief selection of deleted scenes carries optional commentary by the director. Ms. Polley mentions that she's recorded a full-length feature commentary as well. None appears on this disc. It's more than a bit frustrating that Ms. Christie's track would bump the comments of the director. Either that or Lionsgate is saving Polley's track for a later, more elaborate special edition.

For more information about Away From Her, visit Lionsgate Home Entertainment. To order Away From Her, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
Away From Her - Julie Christie In Sarah Polley's Directorial Debut - Away From Her On Dvd

Away From Her - Julie Christie in Sarah Polley's Directorial Debut - AWAY FROM HER on DVD

In this age of sensitive hit men and soulful serial killers, dramas about the 'mundane' problems of real people have become scarce. Ordinary domestic issues long ago became the province of TV movies, which were once called 'disease of the week' films. Now they've been largely replaced by stories about murders or the terrorist next door. The prestigious Away from Her is a thoughtful meditation on the problem of caring for older people, a theme that may become more prevalent as the baby boomer population slides into retirement age. More people are living longer lives, and placing burdens on children unprepared to be caregivers. Away from Her earned high praise for its acting, and the beautiful Julie Christie provided enough of a publicity hook to secure a wide release. Singled out for special mention is the fine work by writer - director Sarah Polley, an accomplished actress fondly remembered as the spunky heroine Sally Salt in Terry Gilliam's Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Away from Her is a deeply affecting drama about the fragility of human relationships. Synopsis: Well-to-do retirees Grant and Fiona (Gordon Pinsent & Julie Christie) must come to terms with Alzheimer's disease when Fiona begins to experience memory problems. Fiona becomes disconnected from her life, and undergoes personality swings in which she resents her husband for long-forgotten indiscretions. The experts recommend that she needs care outside the home. Persuaded to check Fiona into a care home for a 30 day 'trial', Gordon is hurt by the enforced separation. But he's devastated when Fiona shuts him out of her life: in her identity confusion, she finds a measure of inner peace taking care of another male patient, Aubrey (Michael Murphy). Unsure exactly what to do, Grant contacts Aubrey's wife Marian (Olympia Dukakis). It was always assumed that audiences went to the movies to escape from unpleasant everyday realities. Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) is a shattering story of an aged couple (Victor Moore & Beulah Bondi) forced to separate when neither of their grown children can make room for both of them. Their desire to live together to the end is ultimately considered an inconvenience, and the film ends with a devastating farewell at a train station. The movie is now hard to see but its message hasn't dated a bit. The characters of Away from Her must deal with a problem that affects millions. Grant faces an unexpected calamity when Alzheimer's strikes his beloved Fiona. She becomes forgetful and disoriented but also grows emotionally distant. They've been inseparable for years and would never think of breaking up, but in her dementia Fiona no longer has control over old resentments. Alzheimer's doesn't just make one absent-minded, it also causes personality changes. Its effect is like the drug in Nicholas Ray's Bigger than Life: the guarded, unpredictable stranger that emerges from Fiona was always there, suppressed but waiting. Grant has no choice but to accept that she is slipping away. Grant must be cajoled into letting Fiona 'try out' the care facility, which mandates a 30-day no-contact separation period. He is desperate not to let go but wants to do the best for her; and Grant's worst fears are realized when Fiona becomes a virtual stranger to him. The professionals help Grant understand what's happening. Fiona takes to her new life because it's simple and uncomplicated. With a lifetime's 'baggage' to deal with, the work of maintaining her relationship with Grant is confusing, exhausting. Fiona would rather Grant just go away. Worse yet, she throws him over to pick up after the wheelchair-bound Aubrey, an easily upset stroke case who doesn't, or cannot, talk. Fiona feels useful and needed when dealing with Aubrey, an infant-man who gives meaning to her daily routine. Grant is of course destroyed. His beloved Fiona is being taken away from him. Grant's situation becomes more complicated as he spends time with Aubrey's lonely wife Marian. Marian has her own reasons to feel bitter and deserted, even if her husband isn't at fault. And she isn't the type to suffer quietly. Grant couldn't possibly abandon Fiona, as there are days of clarity when she is able to acknowledge affection for him. Deep inside, even the most complacent of us fears that our loved ones might turn away, refuse to recognize us. Away from Her shows that emotional alienation is more than a subject for paranoid fantasies ...it happens. At first glance Away from Her seems to be stacking the deck. Grant and Fiona are a handsome, active couple with decent health and no money problems. Their retirement is spent at a secluded lakeside house, and Fiona's lavish nursing home would be way too costly for all but the very rich. But the movie acknowledges this when Grant is made aware that most of the people taking such good care of his wife do not have the same choices. Aubrey's wife Marian has fewer options, and has only some equity in a house that she dare not sell. Sarah Polley's splendid direction emphasizes the appropriately snowbound landscape. The cinematography does not strive for glamorizing effects, although Ms. Christie arguably has the most beautiful facial wrinkles on record. The only stylistic change occurs in a few flashbacks in which the young Fiona is played by Stacey LaBerge (and looks like a morph between Julie Christie and Susan George). Polley's dramatic pacing allows the sensitive cast to work out the emotional problems of these characters, without begging for sympathy. Gordon Pinsent's Grant yields to 'doing what's right' and learns to be more understanding. Olympia Dukakis' Marian begins a bit cranky, and then becomes amusing. We eventually realize that at 70 Marian has the same needs to fulfill that she had at 30. At one time aggressively in control of her life, Julie Christie's Fiona is forcibly reduced to a different scale of living. Lionsgate's DVD of Away from Her is an enhanced widescreen transfer with the expected fine image and audio. The disc begins with a charity plea for Alzheimer's research hosted by Olympia Dukakis; she also signs a printed insert in each package asking for help to oppose a disease that has reached epidemic proportions: The Alzheimer's Association. Julie Christie's sparse full-length commentary provides some interesting observations -- in comparison to the facilities she's seen for wealthy people, the movie's nursing home is an outright fantasy. Christie praises her co-stars and speaks about her admiring relationship with Sarah Polley. A brief selection of deleted scenes carries optional commentary by the director. Ms. Polley mentions that she's recorded a full-length feature commentary as well. None appears on this disc. It's more than a bit frustrating that Ms. Christie's track would bump the comments of the director. Either that or Lionsgate is saving Polley's track for a later, more elaborate special edition. For more information about Away From Her, visit Lionsgate Home Entertainment. To order Away From Her, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the National Society of Film Critics (NSFC).

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA).

Winner of the 2007 award for British Actress of the Year (Julie Christie) by the London Critics' Circle.

Winner of the 2007 New Generation Award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

Winner of three 2007 awards including Best Canadian Film, Best First Feature and co-winner of the award for Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA).

Winner of two 2007 awards including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC).

Winner of two 2007 awards including Best First Film and Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC).

Released in United States Spring May 4, 2007

Expanded Release in United States May 11, 2007

Released in United States on Video September 11, 2007

Released in United States 2006

Released in United States 2007

Released in United States January 2007

Released in United States February 2007

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Canadian Images) September 28-October 13, 2006.

Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Independent) January 25-February 4, 2007.

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Panorama) February 8-18, 2007.

Based on the short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" written by Alice Munro published by The New Yorker December 27, 1999.

Vanessa Redgrave previously attached to star.

Feature directorial debut for Sarah Polley.

Lionsgate acquired domestic distribution rights at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival for a reported sum of $750,000 - $1 million.

Released in United States Spring May 4, 2007

Expanded Release in United States May 11, 2007

Released in United States on Video September 11, 2007

Released in United States 2006 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Canadian Images) September 28-October 13, 2006.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Independent) January 25-February 4, 2007.)

Released in United States January 2007 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival (Premiere) January 18-28, 2007.)

Released in United States February 2007 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Panorama) February 8-18, 2007.)

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Actress (Julie Christie) by the National Board of Review (NBR).