Parents' Guide to

Away from Her

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Melancholy Alzheimer's drama OK for teens and up.

Movie PG-13 2007 110 minutes
Away from Her Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Strong performances on a complex topic.

A wonderful performance from Julie Christie (naturally), humanizing and inspired about a complex topic that does not get enough light shone on it from filmmakers and society at large. The story in the first part centers on Grant's experiences, emotions, and denials. Christie's character handles her fate with class and aplomb making Grant's handling of it a bit exasperating to watch. The turn of events that occur while in the nursing home make for an interesting conversation about our preconceived ideas around Alzheimer's.
age 18+

Emotional, thought provoking, well done

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Away From Her (based on Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain") is a beautiful movie. It's not just about the wreckage of a disease: It's also a spot-on meditation on marriage -- the sins forgiven but not forgotten and the transformative power of enduring love. Director Sarah Polley is as subtle and adept at directing -- this is her first feature -- as she is at acting. She knows when to linger and when to pull away, when to be loud and, more often, when to stay quiet. (Director Atom Egoyan, who produced this, must have taught her well. Some elements echo the minimalism he showed in The Sweet Hereafter, in which Polley starred.)

Polley has a sense of humor, too -- as in the way she paints the center's administrator, who obnoxiously starts nearly every sentence of her tour with "As you can see." And Olympia Dukakis gives substance to what could have been a flimsy role as Aubrey's wife. But this excellent drama is Christie's all the way. As Fiona, she is both frail and formidable, as rich and complicated as love is in real life.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate