Still Mine Reviews
In my opinion the movie starts out slow and often drags around a bit. You know where it's going but it takes a while to get there. But I guess that's how old people roll, slow and steady.
It truly is an inspirational tale of how Craig Morrison, played by James Cromwell, overcomes obstacles in his path to fulfill his promise he made to his wife Irene played by Genevieve Buiold. It's a true story, making it even more satisfying to watch them prevail.
They are up against the government, with all its rules, regulations, paperwork, and more rules. I can relate to this because I am on disability. Going through the disability process is very hard indeed, and I will compare it to Craig Morrison's difficulty.
To gain disability, you have to apply for it with a series of forms. Basically how the system works, I would say 90% of all first time applications get denied. This is to save the government money, much like an insurance company denying coverage for a treatment or drug. Once you get denied you can appeal the decision which takes more time and effort. My estimate would be around 80% are denied again.
But yet again, you can appeal the appeal. But instead of paperworrk, this time the case is handled in a courtroom. So you would need to pay legal fees and an attorney, making the matter even worse. By the time you are on your third request for disability, 3 to 4 years have passed. The one good thing is that you get a payback from the point you were disabled. But it takes some time to receive, due to the government only allowing a certain amount of money at a time to be collected. It took me a year to get all of my back pay.
Once you are in court, if you are truly disabled, you will be granted disability. The system is set up this way to deter people who are in need of help from reapplying. They hope they will give up and not have to spend money. And once you are disabled, you are only allowed to keep around $1000 at a time. This is an example of stupid rules and regulations the government makes to keep their money.
This is exactly the treatment Craig Morrison was faced with. Ignorant rules that made no sense or caused no harm, even though Morrison was highly qualified and did his work very well. However, the government disagreed, hence Morrison had to go to court and faced time in jail.
The movie also deals with elderly people who were losing their memory probably due to Alzheimer's Disease. This again I can relate to, my grandpa had the disease. However he was always in an upbeat mood and smiled, even if he couldn't remember your name.
This is exactly how Craig and Irene treat the disability. They live with it and love each other no matter what. If Irene forgets what she had for supper, Craig did not care. He just wanted to love her, through sickness and good health. That is a quality rarely seen these days.
James Cromwell and Genevieve Buiold do a fairly good acting job. They get you to feel for them. It was certainly not a masterful performance, but a fair one. I would recommend watching it for the story itself, even if it drags its feet a bit with the slow pacing. But when it's done you feel the love they have for each other, and you feel for Craig for all the hardships he has been through.
Hardships handed down in certified documents, ridiculous rules with no lenience what so ever, from the government that we love to hate. While some rules are necessary to keep civilization going, others, like having to apply three times to get disability, are absolutely dishonorable and dishonest. That's what I take away from this movie. That and the point that even through the most dificult trials of our lives, there is hope we can succeed.
A movie about growing old and the struggle to hold on to your humanity. Director Michael McGowan is able to craft a story that feels real and the characters seem to grow organically. Nothing seems to happen simply because the story needs it to, but because the characters are reacting to situations in a realistic manner. All of these characters seem to be completely fleshed out and have real motivations for why they behave the way they do.
This is partially from McGowan's excellent direction and patience, but also due to fantastic performances from Cromwell and Bujold. These veteran actors know how to subtly portray a character's emotions and motivations. Instead of having loud screaming matches, although there are one or two, most of the time McGowan allows Cromwell and Bujold space to portray their characters in quiet spaces.
There's breathing room in this film, and it pays off in huge dividends by the end of the film. You are rooting for these characters, and that's how McGowan is able to talk about things that are bigger than just housing codes. The film is about how aging feels like you're losing control of everything in your life. It's a beautiful metaphor, and one that draws the audience in. We care about the house and we feel the injustice Craig is facing, but we don't realize we are being put in Craig's shoes as he's facing a bigger injustice, the loss of his wife's mind.
As we watch Craig lose control over his future, his wife is losing control of herself, and he feels like he's losing her. It's tragic, but it also is hopeful. None of us want to be in Craig or Irene's situation, but if we find ourselves there, we want to handle it like they are. With dignity and grace, even if that dignity and grace is found fighting to survive. They will never give up on one another, and we want the same for us and our own spouses.
It's a beautiful film.
The film garnered seven nominations at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Cromwell), Best Actress (Bujold), Best Original Screenplay (McGowan), Best Cinematography (Brendan Steacy), Best Editing (Roderick Deogrades) and Best Original Score (Hugh Marsh, Don Rooke and Michelle Willis). Cromwell won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.