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Movie review: ‘Still Mine'

Posted 4:08pm on Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013

PG-13 (thematic elements, brief sensuality/partial nudity); 103 min.

As depictions of the elderly and the effects of Alzheimer’s go, the gentle Canadian drama Still Mine is a lot closer to The Notebook than last year’s bleak, Oscar-nominated French film Amour. There’s a tenderness about it that softens the blow of tragedy, a grumpy whimsy that lessens the sting of “Someday, that’ll be me.”

James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold bring great sensitivity to the Morrisons, a New Brunswick farm couple whose world is shrinking and whose lives — they’re in their 80s — are winding down.

Irene is forgetting things. Craig isn’t, and as active as he still is — doing chores, tending to cattle, raising strawberries and milling his own lumber — he figures that he can handle whatever adjustment their dotage requires.

They’ve raised seven kids, a couple of whom also farm and live close by. But while they’re not hiding Irene’s steady slide towards senility from them, Craig and Irene aren’t updating the kids daily and aren’t seeking medical advice that Craig figures won’t be of much value at this stage.

Still Mine is more sentimental than unblinking in its depiction of old age. Bujold’s warmth hasn’t faded as the wrinkles, gray hair and blemishes move in. And Cromwell might be entirely too spry — wrestling with logs and such — to fit most people’s idea of 87. But he makes Craig wholly human, someone whose temper flares at both bureaucrats and the wife whose infirmity frustrates and frightens him.

It’s a sometimes moving movie of modest ambitions and simple charms, and sometimes that’s enough.

Exclusive: Landmark Magnolia, Dallas

— Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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