Never Steady, Never Still

Critics Consensus

Subtle, slow, and nearly unbearably sad, Never Steady, Never Still lives and dies in its performances -- and thankfully, the soft-spoken strength of Shirley Henderson is enough to keep a steady pulse.



Total Count: 29


Audience Score

User Ratings: 77
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Movie Info

NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL, the feature film debut of Kathleen Hepburn, is a tender and heartbreaking story of a physically disabled mother and discontent son -- each alienated from their world and struggling to manage in the face of grief, guilt and chronic disease. Having lived with Parkinson's Disease for almost two decades, Judy is faced with the heightened challenges of daily life when tragedy strikes on their isolated property on the shores of Stuart Lake. Meanwhile, her teenage son, pushed by his father to get a job on the oil fields, is grappling with the daunting task of becoming a man in world that has no apparent room for weakness. At its core, this is story of a mother's guilt at not being able to be the protector she feels she should be, and a son's overwhelming fear of never being enough -- both longing for the forgiveness of the other and debilitated by self-imposed emotional isolation.

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Critic Reviews for Never Steady, Never Still

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (6)

  • If you don't treat yourself to this movie, you will indeed be missing out on one of the best pieces of acting 2018 cinema has to offer.

    Jun 24, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Hepburn doesn't demand that her characters conform to norms of sacrifice and redemption, preferring to follow Jamie and Judy's meandering, unhurried journey to cognizance and mutual appreciation.

    Jun 22, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Bleak but sometimes beautiful, the performance-driven feature debut is meatier than its slender plot might suggest, with a strong sense of place and an unsentimental frankness about conditions many filmmakers would milk for sympathy.

    Jun 22, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It is plaintive and subdued, with a dual narrative focus that is not as satisfyingly developed or resolved as it might be.

    Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Enervating stuff.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Ed Potton

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's rather bleak but the camera work is exceptional, the pace languorous and Hepburn's screenplay deliberately ambiguous.

    Mar 1, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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