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The Stone Angel (2007)

tomatometer

39

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

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

42

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

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

audience

59

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,002

My Rating

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

R,

Drama

Margaret Laurence, Kari Skogland

Oct 21, 2008

$31.9k

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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.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop Critic

Too much story, too little time

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

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

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Screen International
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.

July 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
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.

July 12, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

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

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

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

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Let's Not Listen
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.

July 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

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

May 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
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.

May 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
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."
May 30, 2010
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

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.
July 31, 2009
Harlequin68
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.
March 5, 2009
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...
July 13, 2009
crazydannielle16

Super Reviewer

    1. Hagar Shipley: She who talks to herself talks to a fool.
    – Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
    1. Hagar Shipley: I would have to believe in him, in order to be angry with him.
    – Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
    1. 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 (21 months ago)
    1. Doris Shipley: My, doesn't everything look green!
    2. Hagar Shipley: You were expecting purple?
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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