Thursday, May 24, 2007

Movie Review: Away From Her

I just saw a perfect film, Away from Her, adapted from Alice Munro's The Bear Came Over the Mountain. Here is a brief conversation between me and my friend Beth post-movie in the bathroom post-film:

Ms. T: That was the greatest saddest film I've ever seen!

Beth: But it was great, wasn't it?

Ms. T: I cried so hard that the mascara ran off my face and was washed away by even more tears, and now my face is completely make up free. Look! (points to face)

Beth: (looks away as this seems a bit petty in light of the world's greatest saddest movie) It was excellent, wasn't it?

Ms. T: It was brilliant. I wish I wrote it. In fact, if I had wanted to craft a film about love, marriage, and aging, and wanted to make it as painful as possible, as much about alienation and loneliness and sin as it was about love and beauty and joy, it would be that film. Except I didn't write it.

And then we talked for a long time about what exactly happened at the end.

How is Away from Her related to spirituality and the workplace? Although both characters are retired, something that happened long ago at work haunts them as the wife develops Alzheimer's. And I could argue that our greatest work on earth is to love one another.* Away from Her is about that sort of work in the hardest times.

*Except possibly Al Gore