The Stone Angel (2007)
Critic Consensus: Despite fine performances from Ellen Burstyn and newcomer Christine Horne, The Stone Angel fails to escape formulaic melodrama territory.
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as Hagar Shipley
as Young Hagar
as Doris Shipley
as Young Bram
as Child Hagar
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as Child Telford
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as Young Lottie
as Manakawa Doctor
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as Mr. Oatley
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Critic Reviews for The Stone Angel
A tastefully reverent, fundamentally sincere treatment of Margaret Laurence's 1964 Manitoba-based novel, a staple for Canada's 12th graders.
Left me feeling respectfully indifferent, as if I'd been served a nutritious meal that was only fleetingly satisfying.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
The Stone Angel Quotes
|Hagar Shipley:||She who talks to herself talks to a fool.|
|Hagar Shipley:||I would have to believe in him, in order to be angry with him.|
|Hagar Shipley:||Time unstuck for me now. I am rampant with memory for no reason except that I'm caught up in it.|
|Doris Shipley:||My, doesn't everything look green!|
|Hagar Shipley:||You were expecting purple?|
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