Away From Her (Lionsgate Films, 2007)
Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, Kristen Thomson and Wendy Crewson star in Away From Her (2007), the first feature film written and directed by Canadian actress Sarah Polley. It is based on a short story by Alice Munro, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” which first appeared in The New Yorker of December 27, 1999. The ever beautiful Julie Christie, one of my favourite actors of all time, plays a Canadian woman who succumbs to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. A heart-wrenching story. Haven’t read the story? Read the story here.
“The waves delivered crashing loads of gravel at their feet. ‘Do you think it would be fun—’ Fiona shouted. ‘Do you think it would be fun if we got married?’ He took her up on it, he shouted yes. He wanted never to be away from her. She had the spark of life.”
“I’ve always loved Alice Munro’s writing, but this story punctured something. I read it, stunned, and let it sit there. It seemed to enter like a bullet. So concise and unsentimental, nothing to cushion the blow of its impact. When I was finished, I couldn’t stop weeping.”—Sarah Polley
“The Bear Came Over the Mountain” is the last story in Alice Munro’s collection, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001) and can also be found in Carried Away: A Selection of Stories (2006)