Directed by Michael McGowan. Starring James Cromwell, Geneviève Bujold, Campbell Scott, Jonathan Potts, George R. Robertson, Julie Stewart, Rick Roberts, Barbara Gordon. (2013, PG-13, 103 min.)
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Sept. 27, 2013
Life has begun to change for Craig and Irene Morrison (Cromwell and Bujold), a married couple who, for many decades, have lived off the land in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Their fence posts are deteriorating, the new regulations for selling their produce will require expensive upgrades, and now Irene’s memory is fading. Octogenarian Craig wants to build a new, more manageable home for Irene on their property, but it proves to be a most complicated task when code enforcers besiege him with one stop-work order after another.
In one sense, Still Mine is a David-and-Goliath story that pits traditional workmanship against the demands of state protections. James Cromwell, though seeming a bit too spry to be playing a man in his 80s, is well-suited for this role. Craig rises to the occasion, just as he does with his wife’s encroaching illness – with practicality, understanding, exasperation, and a bit of anger. It’s the movie’s love story that will grab your heart however. Despite inevitable comparisons to Away From Her and Amour – other recent films about the challenges of love in old age – Still Mine is distinctive. Lovely performances by Cromwell and Bujold, as well as those playing their extended family of children and friends, are understated yet truthful. And it’s good to be reminded that love that withstands a lifetime is a most precious thing.