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Away from Her (2007)


Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 143
Fresh: 135
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: An accomplished directorial debut by Sarah Polley, Away From Her is a touching exploration of the effects of Alzheimer's, in which the tender wisdom of Polley's script is beautifully complemented by a wonderful performance from Julie Christie.

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 45
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: An accomplished directorial debut by Sarah Polley, Away From Her is a touching exploration of the effects of Alzheimer's, in which the tender wisdom of Polley's script is beautifully complemented by a wonderful performance from Julie Christie.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 114,290


Movie Info

Married for almost 50 years, Grant and Fiona's commitment to each other appears unwavering, and their everyday life is full of tenderness and humor. This serenity is broken only by the occasional, carefully restrained reference to the past, giving a sense that this marriage may not always have been such a fairy tale. This tendency of Fiona's to make such references, along with her increasingly evident memory loss, creates a tension that is usually brushed off casually by both of them. But, when … More

PG-13 (for some strong language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Sarah Polley
In Theaters:
Sep 11, 2007
Box Office:
Lionsgate - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Away from Her

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (135) | Rotten (8) | DVD (9)

Sarah Polley, a terrific actress, now serves notice that she is a director to watch.

May 21, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Beautifully written, from an Alice Munro short story, this movie directed by an actress rarely missteps, even when it bravely includes the dark humor inherent in this situation.

Full Review… | May 18, 2007
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Superb, from its subtle atmospheres to its fine performances. Julie Christie is exquisite as ever purveying the spirit of a woman whose radiance remains even as it dims like the glow of sunset on a snowbound lake.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Away From Her got to me in a way no other movie has this year, eliciting copious tears.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

As this intimate, beautifully observed film unfolds, you realize that the story's themes are relevant no matter what age you happen to be.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Sarah Polley's sad, wise and simply dazzling directorial effort beams with warmth.

May 11, 2007
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

No one dreams of the twilight transpiring in "Away From Her," but, in its words, it's not bad luck. It's just life. You can't beat life. A tenderly told tragedy about Alzheimer's Disease's erosive effects, Sarah Polley's film avoids movie-of-the-week sap.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

Too content with its own "maturity" and "restraint," yet it invaluably offers Christie for audiences in delicate contemplation, and chaste consummation

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Sometimes extreme physical beauty grows more complex, more satisfying with age; it's rare, but it happens.

Full Review… | November 25, 2008
Slant Magazine

Christie is brilliant as steely but brittle Fiona, a woman who knows her mind completely and yet, in the end, cannot hang on to it, while Pinsent eloquently portrays the gradual ebbing away of a partnership, as delicate and unstoppable as snow-melt.

Full Review… | June 13, 2008
Eye for Film

Una bella historia de amor a merced de una enfermedad, filmada con delicadeza por Sarah Polley y sensiblemente interpretada por Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent y Olympia Dukakis.

Full Review… | February 20, 2008
Uruguay Total

A beautifully acted, poignant film about a man who slowly loses his wife to Alzheimer's.

Full Review… | February 2, 2008
Cinema Sight

A complex series of relationships revolve around a nursing home romance.

Full Review… | January 12, 2008
Laramie Movie Scope

Julie Christie as an Alzheimer's afflicted wife achieves the perfect psychological mixture of despair, mystery, rebellion against the unappreciated devotion that has been her lot in married life, and an ultimate odd but eloquent personal liberation.

Full Review… | December 27, 2007

Hallmark card presentation of the onset of Alzheimer's. Totally sincere and totally unrealistic.

Full Review… | December 20, 2007

Christie (with whom Polley acted in Hal Hartley's No Such Thing) is still a radiant presence at 66 and she rivets us to the screen.

December 11, 2007

Memorable Alzheimer's drama OK for teens and up.

Full Review… | October 22, 2007
Common Sense Media

This is a really wrenching film, and all the better for it.

Full Review… | October 18, 2007
Window to the Movies

There's not a genuine moment to be found in this film.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007

Something of an antithesis to the fake fuzziness of any Hallmark movie of the week.

Full Review… | September 14, 2007
Projection Booth

The strength of Away From Her rests on the laurels of an excellent director and Julie Christie whose demanding role is interpreted with subtlety, humor and wisdom. Polley said she only had Christie in mind when the film was to be cast.

Full Review… | July 22, 2007
Movie Magazine International

Away From Her is that rare movie that breaks hearts with finesse and reserve, not through brute force.

Full Review… | July 10, 2007
Baltimore Sun

It's nice to see serious issues other than crime and drugs in the movies and even nicer to see a filmmaking talent like Sarah Polley blossoming.

Full Review… | July 2, 2007
Apollo Guide

If the Oscars were really looking for Best Actress, it couldn't go wrong looking this way.

Full Review… | June 23, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Lovely and cold as a Nordic winter sky, Away From Her is a lacerating, tough movie that's sometimes hard to watch - and impossible to forget

Full Review… | June 15, 2007
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Tackling a sorrowful subject with compassion and even an occasional laugh, actress Sarah Polley makes an impressive full-length debut as writer and director ...

Full Review… | June 12, 2007
Atlantic City Weekly

Audience Reviews for Away from Her

I thought I was watching a great Atom Egoyan movie. Turns out I was watching a great Sarah Polley movie. Very poignant, very Canadian.

Really liked this film. Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie both gave wonderfully full performances.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

Easily one of the most heartbreaking and saddening films of all time, this directorial debut from actress Sarah Polley deals with the deterioration of a mind, but more importantly a marriage. Set in the drifts of the Canadian snow, Polley creates a vast landscape constructed of bare boned memories and nerve touching emotions. She pieces together a narrative that shows their entire forty four years together, though the love each expresses for the other is encapsulated in tender moments of reflection and reconciliation. As his wife starts to lose her memory bit by bit, Grant (Pinsent) mostly denies that she has a problem at all, and as time passes even further, he has to slowly say goodbye to a woman he has formerly wronged, and made right to. Their love is so deep and lively, with their breadth of knowledge, of inner peace, and that's shown in the performances of Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie, who really remain the most poignant of any onscreen couple. There is nothing more heart aching than watching Christie as she slowly loses any recognition for the man she has loved for most of her life. Pinsent's character remains stoic throughout the incident, and holds out hope for her memory to return, and that makes it all the more heart breaking when it doesn't. The way this film is paced is beautiful, taking into account the lives that they lived before Christie's decline, but also looking at what has happened, at the new relationships that are forming, of letting go to someone you simply can't live without, for their own benefit, and being okay with it. Tears will stream down your face as they lose each other, without one of them ever knowing.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

I struggled getting into this one, just because it is such a horrible subject (altzheimers disease). Obviously this was never going to be a laugh a minute. However, the acting by both Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent is so well done that it somehow doesn't wind up totally depressing, even though it probably should be. A bit different to what you normally see in the movies. Recommended.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

I have put off seeing this movie. I find movies about Alzheimer's scary since my mother went through it before she passed on. But scary or not, you should see "Away from her". It is wonderfully played and wonderfully directed. Sarah Polley just shows you what Alzheimer's can do.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

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