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The Stone Angel (2007)


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Despite fine performances from Ellen Burstyn and newcomer Christine Horne, The Stone Angel fails to escape formulaic melodrama territory.

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: Despite fine performances from Ellen Burstyn and newcomer Christine Horne, The Stone Angel fails to escape formulaic melodrama territory.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,003



Movie Info

Director Kari Skogland takes the reins for a Buffalo Gals Pictures production starring Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn as author Margaret Laurence's much-lauded heroine Hagar Shipley. Hagar may by 90, but she not ready to lie down and die just yet. Her decisions stem straight from her heart, and that often alienates her family and friends. When Hagar's son, Marvin (Dylan Baker), takes his mother to look at a nursing home, she takes it as her cue to leave her family behind and set out on one … More

R (for some sexuality and brief language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Margaret Laurence , Kari Skogland
In Theaters:
Oct 21, 2008
Box Office:
Vivendi Entertainment - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Stone Angel

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (14) | DVD (2)

A tastefully reverent, fundamentally sincere treatment of Margaret Laurence's 1964 Manitoba-based novel, a staple for Canada's 12th graders.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Left me feeling respectfully indifferent, as if I'd been served a nutritious meal that was only fleetingly satisfying.

Full Review… | July 25, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Despite a terrific lead performance by Ellen Burstyn, Kari Skogland's epic The Stone Angel is a lesson in the perils of trying to cram a hefty Canadian novel that spans decades into a movie running just under two hours.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

Writer-director Kari Skogland adapts a beloved Canadian novel gracefully and with plenty of spunk, the same way its main character moves through the world from cradle to grave.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Although talented newcomer Christine Horne is ideal as the younger Hagar, letting Burstyn play the character at around 50, despite best-effort lighting, was not the wisest choice.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A film of tightly assembled bits and pieces that don't fit comfortably together despite clever dashes of magical realism connecting past and present.

July 11, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Too much story, too little time

Full Review… | July 23, 2009

A perfectly respectable, solidly-made film which, beyond the expert performance by the always reliable Ellen Burstyn, has unfortunately little to recommend it.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Screen International

The only way to enjoy Kari Skogland's epic portrait of a miserable 90-year- woman named Hagar (Ellen Burstyn) is to reframe it as Scary Movie for weepies.

Full Review… | July 24, 2008
Boxoffice Magazine

Far less would have been much more, though the geriatric protagonist's salty sexual wit and impulse to share a joint with a passing stranger, spice up the often dreary chronological procession of family episodes.

Full Review… | July 12, 2008

Old lady on the road takes a memory trip, giving Burstyn a chance to shine.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
Los Angeles Daily News

It's not a great movie, but Burstyn fans shouldn't miss her subtle performance.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Overacted, underwritten, and with flashback cues so lazy the characters may as well just say, "I remember when...," the film feels like The Notebook II.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
Let's Not Listen

Events pass by in a muddled rush as the intimate character study of the page gives way to a hollowed-out on screen portrait.

Full Review… | July 10, 2008

...there's certainly no overlooking the palpable emotional punch of the movie's final scenes.

Full Review… | May 14, 2008
Reel Film Reviews

Ultimately, though, the story is defined by searing turns from the enjoyably crotchety Burstyn and Horne, who shepherds Hagar from prideful wild child to soul-sapped middle-aged mother.

Full Review… | May 9, 2008
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for The Stone Angel

CAST: Ellen Burstyn, Christine Horne, Cole Hauser, Dylan Baker, Ellen Page, Kevin Zegers

DIRECTED BY: Kari Skogland

SUMMARY: Rather than succumbing to life in a nursing home, feisty Hagar Shipley (Ellen Burstyn) goes on the run. As she struggles to keep her mind clear, Hagar relives passionate moments from early in her life and reflects on the many difficult experiences she's faced.

MY THOUGHTS: " This movie was sad, touching, and brillantly acted by all the characters. It's a storytelling movie and it really puts you in that place at that moment. The story goes back and forth from the present to the past. At the cottage house, she reminisces in flashbacks about all the relationships, loves, and experiences she's had in her long life. This movie is mainly about life and its about the ups-and-downs that we face, but overall, we conquer. Just a great film. Ellen Burstyn and Christine Home are the stars in this movie and out shine everyone else. But I believe their meant too. I guess the only disappointment in watching this movie is how small the roles Ellen Page and Kevin Zegers have in the film. But when they were on screen they were great. It's a good movie that might even draw a few tears from you. Its well worth the watch."


Super Reviewer


In "The Stone Angel," Hagar(Ellen Burstyn) is being pressured by her son Marvin(Dylan Baker) and daughter-in-law Doris(Sheila McCarthy) to move into a nursing home, to which she is fiercely resisting. At the same time, she senses the futility of her fight as she feels her body and mind beginning to betray her. So, Hagar sneaks out of the house and travels back to her old hometown before it is too late.

As a young woman(Christine Horne), Hagar wants to be a teacher but her wealthy father(Peter MacNeill) keeps her in town in a creepy arrangement to do the accounting and controls who she can see. That only works when he is at home and Hagar attends a dance while he is on the road, meeting the roguish Bram(Cole Hauser).

Despite a nice example of stunt casting and an excellent performance from Ellen Burstyn, "The Stone Angel" has more than a hint of "A Trip to Bountiful" but with a sluggish pace, going on far too long with a cliched revelation in a vain attempt to neatly fit together all of the pieces of Hagar's past. Even then, one fairly big question remains. And it is hard to reconcile the repressed middle-aged Hagar with the profane old Hagar. The movie should have been more focused on Hagar's present and issues surrounding senior citizens while giving a more fractured view of her past which would better simulate the fading state of her mind. In recalling the past, Hagar has a way of staying on the negative side of the equation. The lack of nostalgia is refreshing, separating romance from relationships. Since marriage is hard, it is best to be very, very sure of what you are doing.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A powerful performance by Ellen Burstyn as a woman (Hagar) at the end of her life, remembering the events that shaped it. Christine Horn plays the younger Hagar and one sees the elder in the younger woman. Great casting call. A story about love, and lust, and choices, and family pride, and hard-headedness. Ellen Page is only seen briefly, but she has an undeniable on-screen presence. The story itself is intense, but there are several lighter moments that keep it from imploding. Hard to feel sympathy for Hagar, as her life was defined by her choices, but she does not ask for sympathy. Respect is enough for Hagar, and that she has earned from this viewer.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


REALLY good acting and decent script. I lasted until the end out of curiousity but the story was kind of thrown together and I didn't really understand the purpose. WARNING SPOILER: I guess the message was that despite her troubled past and everyone in her life that died, Hagar found peace with God on her death bed. I wish it explained more WHY she found peace...

Dannielle Albert

Super Reviewer

The Stone Angel Quotes

Hagar Shipley:
She who talks to herself talks to a fool.
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
Hagar Shipley:
I would have to believe in him, in order to be angry with him.
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
Hagar Shipley:
Time unstuck for me now. I am rampant with memory for no reason except that I'm caught up in it.
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
Doris Shipley:
My, doesn't everything look green!
Hagar Shipley:
You were expecting purple?
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)

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