When I get home at night after a pretty long and hard day at work, sometimes I’m not in all that great a mood. Hurting and sore, the first thing I want to do is head off to the shower. Then perhaps a snack, and some quality time on the computer–either Facebooking, writing a new blog post, or working on the latest novel.
About the last thing I want to do is watch the TV. So when my lovely wife Nadene tells me she has a movie she’d like me to see with her, I have mixed emotions.
One side of me wants to curl up in front of the word processor, and do some pretty mindless stuff. The other side says, “Wait–every single time she has something for you to see–it’s ALWAYS good.”
And it’s true. It is always good. Every single time. And this time was no exception. The movie was called Still Mine, starring James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold.
It is a nearly perfect motion picture and a tour de force, and I was both captivated and entranced from the opening scene, until the end of the closing credits.
I can sum it up no better that Rotten Tomatoes did with their review of it in July of 2013.
“In his first lead role after decades of playing supporting characters, James Cromwell gives a tour de force performance in STILL MINE, an exquisitely crafted and deeply affecting love story about a couple in their twilight years. Based on true events and laced with wry humor, STILL MINE tells the heartfelt tale of Craig Morrison (Academy Award (R) nominee Cromwell), who comes up against the system when he sets out to build a more suitable house for his ailing wife Irene (Academy Award (R) nominee Geneviève Bujold). Although Morrison uses the same methods his father, an accomplished shipbuilder, taught him, times have changed. He quickly gets blindsided by local building codes and bureaucratic officials. As Irene becomes increasingly ill – and amidst a series of stop-work orders – Craig races to finish the house. Hauled into court and facing jail, Craig takes a final stance against all odds in a truly inspirational story.” (c) Samuel Goldwyn
All I can add to this is that Still Mine is without question the best film I have ever seen on the subject of aging, and the finest performance ever from veteran actorJames Cromwell. Likewise, Ms. Bujold, who at age 72, has yet to give a bad performance before a camera, also shines.
In one particularly poignant scene, Craig and Irene sit in their pickup truck discussing their impending deaths. Irene says that she doesn’t understand a thing more now about “the great mystery” than she did when she was ten years old, but she better figure it out pretty soon, as there isn’t a lot of time left. Craig smiles and tells her to “speak for herself.” At age eighty-seven, he explains, he intends to “beat the odds.”
It’s meant as a joke . . . but think about it. Don’t we all, at some deep level of our thinking, believe that we are going to be the one to somehow beat the odds? Don’t we all secretly believe we are going to live forever?
This is a film that will make you think. And make you reconsider. As you do–you might just feel that goose, walking across your grave. It is not a cheery feeling.
Give it a look. It is both on Netflix streaming, and available for sale from Amazon movies. I can guarantee you that this will be an hour and forty-five minutes of your life that you will not regret spending in front of the television.
And thanks again Honey, for the great movie choice. Once more, you were absolutely correct in identifying quality.
Here’s hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving. See you all in a day or two.