AWAY FROM HER stars Julie Christie as Fiona, a woman who looks vital, regal, yet who is succumbing to Alzheimers. The progressive dementia rips apart what appears to be a storybook marriage to Grant (Gordon Pinsent, in a finely nuanced turn), a former college professor. Married for forty-four years (and childless), they spend their days cooking, taking walks, skiing, and reading to each other in their log cabin by a lake, hardly needing anyone else's company. Until, that is, Fiona starts putting freshly washed pans away in the refrigerator. And can no longer remember how to pronounce the word "wine" or what it means, even as she holds the bottle in her hand. Eventually, the last glorious 20 years they've spent together tucked away in their own private idyll are peeled away, with only the ache of older memories -- "All those sandals, Grant," Fiona says, wincing at his infidelities, "all those pretty girls" -- to keep her company. When Fiona decides to check into an assisted-living facility, it feels like, for a change, she's deserting Grant. And when she rekindles an attachment with Aubrey (Michael Murphy), a man she used to know, it feels like the ultimate abandonment.