Away from Her

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 85
  2. Negative: 8 out of 85

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User Reviews

  1. PhilippeM.
    May 9, 2007
    8
    Just saw it in Montreal. Very touching, and extremely true.
  2. PooPooPlatter
    May 12, 2007
    0
    Why on Earth does everyone think this insincere, stilted, junk tart is well-written and honest? Ick. Forced, awkward, poorly written, overwrought dung. Egoyan wannabe, blech.
  3. DB
    May 23, 2007
    10
    Absolutely astonishing. Plain and simple. Not my kind of movie, but it just blew me away. Obviously, it's not for everyone; those who are incredibly stupid might not like this movie. But if you have a heart or a brain, you will at least appreciate this film as a quiet, revelatory masterpiece.
  4. roberti.
    Jan 5, 2008
    8
    The love between this man and woman will break your heart. Julie Christie's elegant beauty takes your breath away.
  5. PatriciaM.
    Feb 27, 2008
    10
    This is a stunning movie, beautifully filmed, replete with a superb cast, bittersweet undertones, and quiet victories. The script builds nicely on the Alice Munro story with some lovely additions resulting in first rate movie making.
  6. averyc
    Aug 8, 2009
    10
    This is a minor masterpiece. This isn't a film about illness. It's a film about love and a film about, what Proust always knew to be, the great tragedy of forgetting. What does the player king in 'Hamlet' say? "Memory is but the slave of passion?". It's about how people sometime trade love for the solace of similarity. It's about the fact that sometimes the This is a minor masterpiece. This isn't a film about illness. It's a film about love and a film about, what Proust always knew to be, the great tragedy of forgetting. What does the player king in 'Hamlet' say? "Memory is but the slave of passion?". It's about how people sometime trade love for the solace of similarity. It's about the fact that sometimes the most loving gesture one can make is to let the other go. Regardless of how much you can bench or how straight you drink your Maker's, if you've recently left a long, troubled relationship, you will cry and cry. Nobody knows how to say goodbye. Expand
  7. BarbaraP.
    Oct 3, 2007
    10
    Moving, heartbreaking and very very romantic in the best send of the word. Oh yes, and unabashedly Canadian. Bravo to Sarah Polley for a superb directorial debut, and to uniformly excellent cast.
  8. Mr.H.
    May 12, 2007
    0
    Nope. Silly and stilted. Just 'cuz it's odd doesn't mean it's good. Au contraire.
  9. Joseph
    May 20, 2007
    8
    A mostly satisfying film. The film was quiet, slow-moving, character-driven, and intelligent. It's not perfect, though. Julie Christie's performance was admirable except for her eyes, which betrayed the fact that she was acting. In real life you can recognize Alzheimer's in someone just by the vacant eyes. I agree with John C.: the nuring home manager's performance was A mostly satisfying film. The film was quiet, slow-moving, character-driven, and intelligent. It's not perfect, though. Julie Christie's performance was admirable except for her eyes, which betrayed the fact that she was acting. In real life you can recognize Alzheimer's in someone just by the vacant eyes. I agree with John C.: the nuring home manager's performance was a bit over-the-top. Why did this film need a "villain"? Isn't Alzheimer's enough? Expand
  10. HelenV
    May 20, 2007
    10
    Fabulous performances from Christie and Pinsent. (And isn't it great to see older actors who've eschewed the knife?) From my experience, it was pretty accurate. From the superintendent to the caregiver to the various stages of decline among the patients, that
  11. BarbaraR.
    May 23, 2007
    9
    A tour de force, a must-see film, not so much for those of 60+ but for those younger who may benefit by learning a bit about the agony of dementia experienced by far too many elders--including eventually the loved ones whose understanding of Alzheimer's is limited to the comedy circuit.
  12. JaneG.
    May 28, 2007
    3
    This movie was not believable. Where was the anger and rage most patients exhibit along with their confusion.
  13. DanaM.
    Jun 11, 2007
    9
    Wow. What a well done movie. Incredible acting. Sorrowful love story dealing with the crushing tragedy of Alzeimers disease. What a refreshing change from the trash movies out in the cimemas at present. A must see.
  14. JohnH.
    Jun 1, 2007
    9
    Well written and acted. Welcome break from the highly commercialized Summer of Sequels.
  15. AttaBoy
    Jun 4, 2007
    10
    So deep, poignant, and textured that it is almost unbelievable that a 28-year old had the maturity and sensitivity to pull this off. marvelous performances, writing, and directing; highly recommended.
  16. DrewE.
    Jan 21, 2008
    10
    This incredibly deeply perceptive depiction of the agony and mystery of one of life's most cruel twists of fate is brilliantly realized by director and cast .It is horrifying yet uplifting in its glowing humanity, especially realized by the performances of Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent....I won't get away from her or him or this film for a very very long time.
  17. JohnP.
    Jan 20, 2008
    8
    I have to shake my head at Tony B.'s comment "the ending unsatisfactory" Since when is there a satisfactory ending to this horrible affliction?? The pace was slow and deliberate this was a movie about mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians. Were they supposed to break out in song and break-dance?? No I think that everyone especially the great Julie Christie did a amazing job in I have to shake my head at Tony B.'s comment "the ending unsatisfactory" Since when is there a satisfactory ending to this horrible affliction?? The pace was slow and deliberate this was a movie about mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians. Were they supposed to break out in song and break-dance?? No I think that everyone especially the great Julie Christie did a amazing job in giving us an idea of what it must be like to have to deal with such a debilitating disease. And Mr. Pinsent Expand
  18. AnthonyN
    Mar 15, 2008
    2
    This is a very unrealistic portrayal of Alzheimer's disease, cruel to those that have it. There is no poetry in going senile, and this film is inaccurate sentimental tosh. Great acting, great music, great photoraphy, but totally wrong, wrong, wrong about what dementia is about.
  19. PeterF.
    Apr 26, 2007
    9
    A movie experience that will linger in your memory long after you leave the theatre. A timely topic for boomers as they reach what are supposed to be their golden years. The unassuming, lowkey yet poignantly atmospheric Away From Her is a must see and antidote to some of the big budget blockbusters on the screens this summer. Away From Her cost a modest $5 million but that modest budget A movie experience that will linger in your memory long after you leave the theatre. A timely topic for boomers as they reach what are supposed to be their golden years. The unassuming, lowkey yet poignantly atmospheric Away From Her is a must see and antidote to some of the big budget blockbusters on the screens this summer. Away From Her cost a modest $5 million but that modest budget says nothing about the impact on the eyes and mind of the viewer. Go see it. Expand
  20. Bic
    May 12, 2007
    10
    Powerful, moving, superb. Reminded me of an Ingmar Bergman movie at its best
  21. NancyE.
    May 13, 2007
    3
    Too many ponderous, slow close-ups of people staring at each other; their lives seemed impossibly bleak before Alzheimer's: no family, no friends, no pets! And the last thing that would cheer me up is being read poems from Iceland. Bring David Sedaris -- maybe at age 61 I'm just not "grown-up" enough to want to be this depressed at the movies.
  22. VanceG.
    May 16, 2007
    9
    I don't understand the negative reviews at all. I think the film's fantastic. It's the old-age love story you never get to see. Julie Christie is wonderful, and Gordon Pinsent matches her. This whole "they have no children, no pets and no friends - how depressing!" thing is ridiculous: first of all, not everyone has to have kids in movies and in life, just for the sake of I don't understand the negative reviews at all. I think the film's fantastic. It's the old-age love story you never get to see. Julie Christie is wonderful, and Gordon Pinsent matches her. This whole "they have no children, no pets and no friends - how depressing!" thing is ridiculous: first of all, not everyone has to have kids in movies and in life, just for the sake of having kids. There are too many half-hearted parents already. And second of all, the story is about the relationship between two people who have no one else... why is that a negative? If you want to be reassured in a flick like Nancy E., go watch Georgie Rule. If you want something intelligent and stimulating, watch this. Expand
  23. BillyS.
    May 21, 2007
    8
    I can tell you what an amazing, moving, inspirational movie Away From Her is in just two simple words - JULIE CHRISTIE!!
  24. NeilR.
    May 26, 2007
    10
    Gordon Pinsent's performance is among the finest of any male actor in recent memory. Despite the gravity of its subject, AWAY FROM HER is a film that provides its characters with redemption. Polley's script reflects an understanding of Alzheimer's and of marriage that is too rare in books and films. A beautiful, life affirming movie.
  25. ChadS.
    May 29, 2007
    8
    Leave it to Sarah Polley to make the most uncommercial film possible. Maybe she saw "Winter Light" and thought- I want to make a film like Ingmar Bergman. Lots of old people. Bleak.- But she failed. "Away from Her" is not bleak. It's a more mature approach to the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook". As Grant (Gordon Pinsent) watches Fiona(Julie Christie) conduct an Leave it to Sarah Polley to make the most uncommercial film possible. Maybe she saw "Winter Light" and thought- I want to make a film like Ingmar Bergman. Lots of old people. Bleak.- But she failed. "Away from Her" is not bleak. It's a more mature approach to the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook". As Grant (Gordon Pinsent) watches Fiona(Julie Christie) conduct an extra-marital affair with Aubrey(Michael Murphy), the cuckolded husband must be reflecting on how he "forgot" his wife when the professor emeritus professor was screwing around with his students. He hangs around the nursing home as some sort of penitence. It's great how the caregivers slowly lose their initial sheen of cheerfulness after Grant's first visit. It's a job, after all. They're not saints. Expand
  26. CaladoniaK.
    May 5, 2007
    10
    Heartbreaking and beautiful. An extremely important film. I would rate it higher if I could.
  27. LonnieB.
    May 6, 2007
    10
    Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie were just wonderful to watch. Hated to see it end.
  28. PaulK.
    Jun 15, 2007
    9
    The minor character portrayals were stereotypical: the abrasive assisted living director; the caring, overly involved nurse, etc. The main storyline was fascinating and unconventional. Some may find the pace and material boring, but this is a worthy adaptation. See it, if you can.
  29. ChrisC
    Jun 17, 2007
    10
    Beautiful movie. Very well written screenplay and some of the best subtle performances I've seen since Lost in Translation. A lot of the complaints against it seem to be closed minded rejections of the characters' introverted lifestyle: "The characters don't think like me, so they must not be believable". "Icelandic poems cheered her up? Icelandic poems would never cheer me Beautiful movie. Very well written screenplay and some of the best subtle performances I've seen since Lost in Translation. A lot of the complaints against it seem to be closed minded rejections of the characters' introverted lifestyle: "The characters don't think like me, so they must not be believable". "Icelandic poems cheered her up? Icelandic poems would never cheer me up!!" If you accept that an intellectual introvert can have a lifestyle that isn't 'bleak', the characters are very believable. Expand
  30. JohnP
    Jul 24, 2007
    10
    Brilliant performances by Julie Christie, Gordon Pinset,Olympia Dukakis and the supporting cast. Sarah Polley creates a quiet masterpiece.
  31. LesterF.
    Jan 15, 2008
    4
    Though possibly the victim of high expectations, I was unable to reflect positively on this film. There are moments of such incongruity within the dialogue here, that the entire films is enfeebled. A lifeless affair with wearisome timing that fails, even, to evoke bare emotion. An opportunity missed.
  32. BlakeJ
    Jan 30, 2008
    8
    A movie that knows what it is trying to get across and gets it across. A feat that not very many movies these days accomplish. Julie Christie is amazing...her portrayal of Fiona is dead on, a definite front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar come Feb. A movie so sad I never want to watch it again but I will never forget it. Sarah Polley is a new voice and force to be reckoned with.
  33. FrankyP.
    Feb 23, 2008
    9
    Profoundly beautiful and moving.
  34. JohnA
    Feb 16, 2009
    8
    'Away From Her' is not so subtle as it is heartbreaking.
  35. TonyB.
    Dec 5, 2007
    6
    Very well acted, directed and photographed, it is still somewhat of a disappointment. The pace is languid, and the ending unsatisfactory.
  36. KayM.
    May 11, 2007
    10
    Hauntingly, heartbreaking, tears streamed down my face during the first half-hour. Then I got my strength back due to the amazing acting in this fine film. I saw it with a 78 yr. old gentlemen. He, too, absolutley loved it.
  37. RogerG.
    May 12, 2007
    3
    Terrible and pretentious about a bourgois dull couple. Skip it.
  38. JohnC
    May 14, 2007
    5
    As much as I admire it's aspirations and Christie's performance, the films problems are great. The character of the nursing home manager is eye rolling, the performance of Dukakis is synthetic. And why on earth would anyone use a model to play young Christie when we know exactly what she looked like?
  39. PatG.
    May 19, 2007
    3
    Well, I went to this movie wanting to love it, but I came out disappointed. The best thing about it is the chance to see Julie Christie. All the actors are good, actually, but the whole is just not engaging. It was not depressing or moving. Rather it seemed like a collection of scenes. Yes, Alzheimer's is tragic. This movie looked at the tragedy, but did not really capture it. Well, I went to this movie wanting to love it, but I came out disappointed. The best thing about it is the chance to see Julie Christie. All the actors are good, actually, but the whole is just not engaging. It was not depressing or moving. Rather it seemed like a collection of scenes. Yes, Alzheimer's is tragic. This movie looked at the tragedy, but did not really capture it. Polley does show promise, I think, but she did not fulifll it here. Sigh. I wanted to love it! Expand
  40. MM
    May 29, 2007
    10
    a familiar tale, exquisitely and compassionately told.
  41. SteveM.
    Jun 13, 2007
    10
    I thought this film was amazing....and surprising. The performances were spot on. Julie Christie was a revelation.
  42. MichaelL.
    Jun 19, 2007
    10
    I haven't cried at the movies in a long while. This poignant gem brought the tears--and not through manipulation, but through quiet beauty and intense reality. Such a fine, understated film--the "Brokeback Mountain" of 2007. Those seeking histrionics had best avoid Polley's touching masterpiece. There's no anger, no broken glass, no temper tantrums--just a profound sadness, I haven't cried at the movies in a long while. This poignant gem brought the tears--and not through manipulation, but through quiet beauty and intense reality. Such a fine, understated film--the "Brokeback Mountain" of 2007. Those seeking histrionics had best avoid Polley's touching masterpiece. There's no anger, no broken glass, no temper tantrums--just a profound sadness, an urgent sense of loss, and a reflection of missed opportunities. A true ode to the realities of true love--not the Hollywood version of it. And Julie Christie, character lines intact, is lovelier than any botoxed startlet--she is luminous. A wonderous perfromance. Olympia Dukakis is stirringly real. Polley has a phenomenal career ahead of her. She has always shunned Hollywood claptrap, and here's proof she will continue to do so. Bravo. Expand
  43. DianaM
    Jul 28, 2007
    4
    there are moments of transcendence here (the two most memorable being the aerial shot of christie in the snow field, and the use of neil young's "harvest moon"), but without any believable timetable, the whole thing turns supermaudlin, confusing, and frankly, tedious. i kept waiting and waiting for fiona to say it'd all been just a well-acted hoax, that her rapid memory loss was there are moments of transcendence here (the two most memorable being the aerial shot of christie in the snow field, and the use of neil young's "harvest moon"), but without any believable timetable, the whole thing turns supermaudlin, confusing, and frankly, tedious. i kept waiting and waiting for fiona to say it'd all been just a well-acted hoax, that her rapid memory loss was aimed either to make grant move on with his life, or to finally punish him for that buried-but-not-forgotten-and-thus-not-buried-deep-enough indiscretion he made with a college student in the 70s. and speaking of which....
    ????!!? those flashbacks are shady. at one point i actually thought the girl would rise from the past--or from the dead--a la "what lies beneath." i could name a number of other "huhs?", if asked. maybe there wasn't enough time to show fiona's brain slowly unhinge and let the flood wash away grant's love. but one month?? one month in which she learns new things, suffers no fears, no violent outbursts, but loses every morsel of her life before??!! i will admit christie is exquisite. i could stop wishing i'll be half so earthy when/if i get old. olympia dukakis is hilarious, as always, though i don't think she was trying to be. oh, but i do love watching her mask break. polley shouldn't have been so verbatim in her translation from the short story. she needed either to expound on grant's affair, or do away with it completely. faboo camera work, however. all four points for that.
    Expand
  44. JoeC.
    Sep 13, 2007
    9
    Poignant and moving, this movie has it all, great performaces, terrific directiong, and a beautiful story. It really captures the realities of loving who suffers from dementia. Both Pinsent and Christy do a terrific job with Pinsent giving the movie its heart and Christy stealing the show and the heart of the audience as she "disappears" as she puts it. It's heartbreaking stuff and Poignant and moving, this movie has it all, great performaces, terrific directiong, and a beautiful story. It really captures the realities of loving who suffers from dementia. Both Pinsent and Christy do a terrific job with Pinsent giving the movie its heart and Christy stealing the show and the heart of the audience as she "disappears" as she puts it. It's heartbreaking stuff and Poley does a fantastic job with a tough script, she's someone to lookout for in the future. Expand
  45. [Anonymous]
    Sep 14, 2007
    7
    Beautifully acted by Julie Christy but some elements of the story seemed formulaic and unreal.l
  46. AnnV.
    Dec 5, 2009
    2
    Not really about Alzheimer's. It is about a guilty husband. Slow, pretty boring. No truth about dementia in this show.
  47. Apr 24, 2014
    8
    Had to watch this movie in class today and I was surprised buy this movie. The acting was great and the storyline hit the emotions really well. Also it is a Canadian movie with a Canadian Director so there were a lot of references to places in Canada and Canadian things. Which I loved because I am Canadian so they story felt close to home.
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 90
    I can't remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true.
  2. 88
    A sad and sometimes funny tale of Alzheimer's, love and loss.
  3. A film rich in paradoxes. Much of the film's style is dreamy, from the snow-covered Ontario landscapes suggestive of a blanket of forgetfulness, to Julie Christie's pale, intoxicating beauty, to the ambient musical score.