Rated: PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief sensuality/partial nudity. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: August 9, 2013 Released by: Samuel Goldwyn Films
A rather touching, unsentimental tale set in New Brunswick that considers the struggles of the elderly cherishes its inspirational message and characters that will be hard to resist especially for lovers of films like The Notebook.
Still Mine stars James Cromwell, Genevieve Bujold, and Campbell Scott with Cromwell's 89-year-old protagonist in Craig Morrison displaying much moxie and appeal in a film could be a cross between dramas like Life As A House and Away From Her. Without really being contrived or manipulative as has been the case often when Hollywood examines the subject.
On his large farm where he's honed his skills as a craftsman and lives with wife Irene (Bujold) who is developing Alzheimer's disease, Craig is revamping or scaling back the home but is hitting a road block with a local building inspector. Even with the backing of his attorney (Scott of The Secret Lives of Dentists) and his children this obstinate, proud old coot will relate his cause in a tough judicial system to provide better palliative conditions for an ailing loved one.
Still Mine is an example of an import, this time Canadian, to thoughtfully connect without patronizing especially after a stop-work order is in effect. It may not have the raw, visceral power of an Amour or the eloquent poignancy of the aforementioned Sarah Polley picture which starred a riveting Julie Christie. Yet, director Michael McGowan (Saint Ralph) knows how to make the conflict and central relationship resonate. And, it helps to have truly gifted performers like Cromwell (Babe, The Artist) and Bujold (remembered way back in Coma and solid in the 1980s in films like Choose Me and Dead Ringers) with such an honest, easygoing rapport that the aching tenderness and sacrifice sensitively draws into the heartstrings.