The Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc (the people behind the Golden Globes), the National Society of Film Critics, & multitudinous others have made Julie Christie a front runner for this year’s Best Actress Oscar, so I just gave the film a second look.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Julie Christie & I think she’s wonderful as the Alzheimer’s Patient in Away From Her, but wonderful as she is, I do NOT believe she should be a contender for Best Actress because she is NOT the protagonist.
This film is told from the POV of Fiona’s husband Grant (the heartbreaking Gordon Pinset), & the title itself comes from his opening line. in which he states the film’s storyline in a nutshell: “I don’t want to be away from her.”
Kudos to first-time writer/director Sarah Polley (one of our favorite actresses) for creating a terrific central character (Grant) & surrounding him with FOUR well-drawn & beautifully-acted female supporting roles. (In addition to Pinset’s scenes with Christie, he also has unforgettable scenes with Olympia Dukakis–who plays the wife of another patient–as well as Wendy Crewson & Kristen Thomson–who play caregivers in the residence where Grant finally decides to admit Fiona when he can no longer care for her himself.)
My message to the Academy: If you play fair, you will consider nominating Pinset for “Best Actor” & Polley for “Best Adapted Screenplay.” Julie Christie belongs on the “Best Supporting Actress” list & Olympia Dukakis does too!
Top Photo: Julie Christie & Gordon Pinset as a long married couple seen when times are still good. Bottom Photo: A kiss for a wife who barely knows who her husband is anymore…
February 2008 UPDATE: Julie Christie was nominated for Best Actress. Everyone else in the cast (inlcuding Gordon Pinset) was ignored. Sarah Polley was nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. But in the end, on Oscar Night ’08, they both lost 🙁