Away From Her

Out Now On-Demand

Married for 50 years, Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona’s (Julie Christie) commitment to each other appears unwavering, and their everyday life is full of tenderness and humour. But Fiona’s increasingly evident memory loss makes it no longer possible for either of them to ignore the fact that she is suffering from Alzeimer’s disease.

With the intention of going out with dignity, Fiona checks into a nursing home. As Grant remains in his empty house, wracked with guilt over his past indiscretions, Fiona forms an attachment to a fellow patient she claims to have known in her youth.



Golden Globes 08; Best Drama Actress (Christie)

Directed by

Written by



Rating: M contains offensive language


Official Site


An examination of memory, love, forgiveness and companionship, told through the vehicle of an elderly couples marriage. It sounds deathly boring but it is in fact beautifully paced, sensitively told and contains two stellar performances.

As we watch the relationship between ex-university professor husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Julie Christie’s brilliant lead Fiona unfold before us, the present story of Fiona’s slide into the haze of Alzheimer’s disease is peppered with hints of secrets from the couples past. The thinly veiled references to the husband’s infidelities are not so much vengeful but rather gentle feminine reminders to him that the indiscretions of yester-year have not been forgotten. The irony is of course is that the persistent march of Alzheimer’s is stripping away the very fabric of her recollection for so many other things - both in the present and the past. Her preliminary insight into the illness is heart breakingly poignant – she says to her husband “I think I may be beginning to disappear”.

Fiona’s assimilation into a specialist dementia unit forms the bulk of the film, and it becomes apparent that the disease is consuming her mind. Her shock of blonde hair becomes increasingly unruly, her once subdued yet stylish clothing is replaced by garish cardigans and she forms a deep bond with another patient in the facility. Her husband remains persistently loyal, and throughout the journey, the sense of dignity and humanity never leaves Christie’s character. She is an absolute stand out in this role with an amazingly balanced and powerful performance, while the restrained and poignant Pinsent provides the perfect ying to her yang.

Astonishingly, given both its subject matter and its calm assurance, the Film was the directorial debut by 28 year old Sarah Polley, former Canadian child star. Based on the Alice Munro short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain, it is a masterful piece of cinema - for the spaces that it leaves, the dignified and unsentimental way in which it presents the subject matter and the fascinating performances it produces.



It's a low-key yet powerful and uplifting story of love renewed amid the ravages of old age. Soulful and wonderfully acted.

New York Times


The film is by turns sharp and somber, alive to the lacerations of ordinary experience and quietly attentive to grand absurdities and small instances of grace.

NZ Herald [Peter Calder]


Deft, assured, unpredictable and utterly engrossing story of a woman whose descent into dementia follows an unusual course...

The Christchurch Press [Margaret Agnew]


An incredibly moving film, even more so for anyone who has had a loved one affected by Alzheimer's disease or dementia...

The Dominion Post [Graeme Tuckett]


This is lovely stuff. If you appreciated Snowcake, then don't miss this. Julie Christie has got to be nominated for an Oscar for her work here.

TV3 [Kate Rodger]


This is an astonishingly assured directorial outing for 28-year-old Canadian actress Sarah Polley - showing an artistic restraint and insight far beyond her years...

Variety [USA]


Christie is poignantly appealing, easily suggesting a woman Grant might still be fascinated by after nearly a half-century. But it's Pinsent who really carries the bulk of screen time and the film itself, in a perfectly restrained turn.




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Great performances,

If a little drawn out, perhaps that is part of the message.

A "training video" for the middl;e aged, but worthy of a watch for all.

Too Slow


Too Slow

Sorry, didnt like it. The f word and 2 people smoking not necessary.

Memories Fade but Love Lasts


Memories Fade but Love Lasts

Breathtaking performances from these elderly experienced actors Gordon Pinsent and the still beautiful Julie Christie.

A very difficult subject matter of dementia and growing old that only those that have experienced for themselves would know about. Very sensitively dealt with here in 'Away From Her'.We don't often see the true feelings and experiences of elderly people on screen which made this a refreshing change from the usual love stories of the young. A movie for deeper thinking people.