Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Away From Her (2006)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Away From Her (2006, Canada/UK/US)

In 28 year-old actor/writer Sarah Polley's marital drama - her remarkable debut feature film:

  • the film's opening scene of the closeness in the long-term relationship of 44 years - exemplified by cross-country skiing in secluded, rural northern Ontario, Canada at their remote log cabin by a lake - between devoted retired college professor Grant Andersson (Gordon Pinsent) and his beloved, increasingly-disoriented, silver-haired wife Fiona (Best Actress-nominated 65 year-old Julie Christie) who was on the verge of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease
  • Grant's frequent recollections of a younger 18 year-old Fiona (Stacey LaBerge) and how she proposed to him: (voice-over: "I never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life")
  • the scenes of an introductory tour of the Meadowlake retirement center by its chirpy, smooth-talking director Madeleine Montpellier (Wendy Crewson) and the steadfast visits (after an initial 30 days of absence) of Grant to see Fiona
  • Fiona became increasingly attached and doting to mute, wheelchair-bound patient Aubrey Bark (Michael Murphy) and told persistent, slightly jealous and bewildered visitor Grant: "He doesn't confuse me at all" - Grant wondered if she was possibly instilling in him guilt and 'punishment' for his extra-marital indiscretions with students during the early years of their marriage
Meadowlake Retirement Center:
Fiona Suffering From Alzheimer's Disease
Grant's Tour with
Center's Director
Fiona's Closeness to
Another Patient - Aubrey
Grant with
Nurse Kristy
Grant With
Punk Teenager Monica
  • during many painful and frequent visits, Grant often spoke to sympathetic, friendly and plain-spoken nurse Kristy (Kristen Thomson) who offered her pager number, and with an understanding punk teenager named Monica (Nina Dobrev) who was visiting her grandfather, complimenting Grant during a visit about his devotion: "I should be so lucky"
  • the scene of Grant reading to Fiona from the book "Letters From Iceland"
  • over time, Grant had begun an affair with Aubrey's abrasive, pragmatic and outspoken wife Marian (Olympia Dukakis), who had removed Aubrey from the home due to financial difficulties
  • in the film's final scene of unconditional love, Fiona briefly remembered her husband and his self-less care for her: ("I'm a very lucky woman"). - as the camera spun around the embracing couple to the tune of K.D. Lang singing Neil Young's "Helpless."

Cross-Country Skiing: Grant with Wife Fiona in Canada

The Younger Fiona

Grant Reading to Fiona in Retirement Center

One Meaningful Unconditionally-Loving Hug


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