Away from her

Directed by Sarah PolleyA subtle, poignant, and superbly acted drama about a long marriage that is tested externally by disease and internally by the chords of attachment.2007S&P AwardWinner

Film Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Fiona (Julie Christie) and Grant (Gordon Pinsent) have been married for 44 years and live in an isolated farm house in Ontario, Canada. They enjoy cross-country skiing and sex. But their life together in love is threatened by the looming clouds of Alzheimer’s disease. One evening Fiona puts the frying pan away in the refrigerator. At a dinner with friends, she reaches for a bottle but can’t remember the word wine. Later, she says: “I think I’m beginning to disappear.” Grant wants to believe that these memory lapses are a normal part of the aging process but after Fiona loses track of where she is while cross-country skiing by herself, she decides it is time for her to enter Meadowlake, a residence facility for Alzheimer patients.

Madeleine (Wendy Crewson) is the efficient and always cheerful administrator of this fairly new facility which houses patients in their own rooms on the first floor and treats patients who have “lost it” on the dreaded second floor. Grant is upset when he learns that he cannot visit Fiona for her first month at Meadowlake since she will need that period to adjust on her own to the place, the staff, and the other patients. During this transition time, she becomes very attached to Aubrey (Michael Murphy), a wheelchair-bound patient who doesn’t talk and welcomes the attention she lavishes upon him. When Grant is finally allowed to visit, he discovers that Fiona is not interested in spending any time with him; she may or may not remember who he is.

Kristy (Kristen Thomson), the head nurse at Meadowlake, senses Grant’s estrangement and feelings of jealousy. When he turns to her for counsel, she shares her assessment that men usually have rosier memories of their marriages than the women do. He knows she’s right. Just before entering the facility, Fiona reminded him of something she does want to forget — the pain she felt years ago when as a university professor of mythology he had affairs with younger women. Now he is the one who is angry and jealous as he waits for her to leave Aubrey long enough so he can talk to her. Of her new friend, she says, “He doesn’t confuse me at all.” It is a poignant moment in which Grant realizes that his only choice in the name of love is to let go and not be so attached to Fiona.

In one of the best films of 2007, writer and director Sarah Polley has creatively adapted for the screen Canadian author Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Julie Christie gives an Academy Award-caliber performance, and the rest of the cast is also superb. This subtle and poignant drama deals with the nature of love in a long-lasting marriage and the important role memory plays in our lives. It also explores the many ramifications of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common form. Lewis Thomas has called it “the disease of the century . . . the worst of all diseases, not just for what it does to the patient, but for its devastating effects on family and friends.” Alzheimer’s sufferers unlearn even the simplest skills; eventually they become totally incapable of caring for themselves. With no known cure or preventive treatment, the disease is always fatal.

In the marriage ceremony, couples make a lifetime commitment to each other. Although most of them expect to honor that promise, almost half of them will split before 15 years are over. Away From Her is about the bonds that hold a couple together even when a couple faces challenges that test every ounce of their caring and commitment to each other. Marian (Olympia Dukakis), Aubrey’s wife, provides Grant with the key to dealing with Fiona. What happens is not something he expects or makes sense of afterwards. But it offers him a chance to repair his relationship with Fiona and verify his love for her.

Special DVD features include an audio commentary by Julie Christie and deleted scenes with an audio commentary by director Sarah Poley.

China Tonight

Stan Grant and Yvonne Yong take a fresh look at news from inside China. We go beyond the headlines of trade wars and global posturing to bring you stories of China’s rise in the world, and the changes and challenges at home.


  • Stan Grant, Yvonne Yong


The legendary Clint Eastwood returns to the silver screen as director and star of #CryMacho, in theaters and streaming exclusively on HBO Max September 17. Watch the new trailer now. From Warner Bros. Pictures come director/producer Clint Eastwood’s uplifting and poignant drama “Cry Macho.” The film stars Eastwood as Mike Milo, a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home from Mexico. Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman finds unexpected connections and his own sense of redemption. Also starring are Eduardo Minett as the young boy, Rafo, in his feature film debut, Natalia Traven (“Collateral Damage,” TV’s “Soulmates”) as Marta, with Dwight Yoakam (“Logan Lucky,” “Sling Blade”) as Mike’s former employer, Howard Polk. The cast also includes Fernanda Urrejola (“Blue Miracle,” Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico”) as Leta and Horacio Garcia-Rojas (“Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico,” TV’s “La querida del Centauro”) as Aurelio. Oscar winner Eastwood directed from a screenplay by Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash, based on the novel by Nash. Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy, Tim Moore and Jessica Meier produced the film, with David M. Bernstein serving as executive producer. The filmmaker’s creative team behind the scenes included BAFTA-nominated director of photography Ben Davis (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Captain Marvel”), production designer Ron Reiss (set decorator, “Richard Jewell” and “The Mule”), Oscar- winning editor Joel Cox (“Unforgiven”), who has cut most of director Eastwood’s films, and editor David Cox (“Den of Thieves,” assistant editor on “Richard Jewell” and “The Mule”), and longtime collaborator costume designer Deborah Hopper. The music is by Mark Mancina (“Moana”). Warner Bros. Pictures Presents A Malpaso/Albert S. Ruddy Production, “Cry Macho.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It opens September 17, 2021 in the U.S. in theaters and on HBO Max on the Ad-Free plan; it will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release. “Cry Macho” is rated PG-13 for language and thematic elements.

How Australia was left dangerously exposed

Four Corners: Aug 2

On Monday ABC examines how Australia was left dangerously exposed.

  • Published by David Knox
  • on July 30, 2021

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Monday’s Four Corners is “Lockdown: How Australia became trapped by COVID-19”, reported by Adam Harvey.

“It’s been disappointing. We’ve been let down. There’s no point in sugar coating it. It’s just been a massive disappointment.” Resident

For weeks, millions of Australians have been trapped by outbreaks of COVID-19 around the country with five states and the Northern Territory plunging into lockdown.

“The risk is real and we need to act quickly. We need to go hard, we need to go fast… I don’t want to see people end up in our hospitals on ventilators.” Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

At a grim press conference in Sydney, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian bluntly told the nation that with case numbers on the rise, the threat of COVID-19 had reached an unprecedented level.

“The situation that exists now…is regarded as a national emergency.” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

Now, despite millions of people being told to stay at home, the number of infections is climbing with the virulent Delta strain.

“We should be very worried about Delta. Delta is many times more infectious than the original wild type of virus. It is really easy to transmit, and it is slightly more problematic when it comes to people who’ve only had one dose of vaccine.” Former Health Dept Secretary

This type of outbreak is exactly what the nation’s leading experts warned of when Four Corners reported on the failings in Australia’s vaccine rollout in May.

“It’s clear the virus hasn’t gone away. It will come back in this country and if we have really low levels of vaccination at that point in time, then the impact of that will be far greater than it would have been otherwise.” Dr Paul Griffin, May 2021

Their warnings have become a grim reality. On Monday Four Corners examines how Australia was left dangerously exposed.

“A leak from quarantine was probably inevitable. But the problems we’re having now all go back to the decisions that were made last year.” Former Health Dept Secretary

As the program shows, the slow and sometimes faltering vaccine rollout has made the task of beating COVID-19 that much harder.

“We’re going to have to increase our supply and increase our injecting rate by a third, every day, seven days a week, until December 31.” Epidemiologist

For those struggling to get back on their feet after a horror 2020, there is frustration that they are facing even more pain.

“There is a high level of anxiety bordering on depression for many people, but the real frustration from the business community is around the lack of vaccination rollout right now. And we know that vaccinations are our only way of getting out of these lockdowns.” Retail spokesperson

Experts warn that there will be more to come if the issues of supply and hesitancy aren’t overcome.

“The longer a variant spreads, the greater the risk of it learning mutations and changing, and becoming a super variant.” Epidemiologist


After spending the last 5 years in prison for the murder of a 14-year-old boy Matthew, Sally Wright is now a free woman, but life in her hometown of Kendal has moved on.


  • Katherine Kelly, Jamie Bamber, Priyanga Burford, Shaun Dooley, Lucy Black

I went to IVIEW and watched the whole series in one evening! Watching it, I became very curious wanting to see how it ended. Who actually was the killer? That was the question. It had to be resolved!!

Ai Weiwei’s new film goes behind the scenes of the Wuhan lockdown

The Chinese artist’s latest documentary, “Coronation,” was filmed remotely by a team of amateur Wuhan filmmakers. Ai Weiwei spoke to DW about how an authoritarian state stopped the COVID-19 outbreak in its tracks.

« Coronation » – a documentary film about the lockdown in Wuhan, China, during the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020 (b/@aiww)

Another Round – Official Trailer

Another Round – Official Trailer In Australian Cinemas Feb 11th. There’s a theory that we should be born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood, and that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing our problems and increasing our creativity. Heartened by that theory, Martin and three of his friends, all weary high school teachers, embark on an experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. If Churchill won WW2 in a heavy daze of alcohol, who knows what a few drops might do for them and their students? Initial results are positive, and the teachers’ little project turns into a genuine academic study.  Both their classes and their results continue to improve, and the group feels alive again! As the units are knocked back, some of the participants see further improvement and others go off the rails.   It becomes increasingly clear that while alcohol may have fueled great results in world history, some bold acts carry consequences.

Suggested by UMG

Kwamie Liv – 17

City of Fear

Foreign Correspondent

City of Fear

Once a city of protest, Hong Kong has become a city of fear.

The ABC’s China correspondent Bill Birtles reported on the tumultuous Hong Kong pro-democracy protests throughout 2019-2020, before his abrupt return home when China-Australia relations blew up.

Now Birtles brings us the final chapter of the Hong Kong rebellion, as Beijing exerts an iron grip on the once liberal outpost, snuffing out the last breaths of democracy.

He tells the story of Max, a young Hong Kong activist, who must decide if he should stay and fight for democracy, risking jail, or flee and continue to campaign from outside.

“The atmosphere is different. It’s a lot grimmer. And it’s become a lot harder to hold on to hope,” says Max.

We follow Max as he moves carefully around the city, building networks with those committed to staying and pondering a future in exile where he has freedom but no family.

We speak with protest leader Joshua Wong, on trial for organising protests.

“Now is not the time for us to kow-tow to Beijing and surrender!” declares a defiant Wong. Days after our interview, Wong is jailed.

We join pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo as she packs up her office in the Legislative Council, having resigned in protest at China’s squeeze on who can run for office.

“I was quite happy to call it a day but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up the democracy fight in Hong Kong,” says Mo, but she concedes it’s a losing battle.

“On the surface, Hong Kong is still quite so glamorous, quite so prosperous looking, but then deep down it’s rotting.”

Some locals – like Australian educated, pro-government politician Nixie Lam – welcome an end to the chaos of protest and the return of law and order.

“Just don’t say you want Hong Kong independent…or accept foreign monies to try to promote things like that. Then you’ll be totally fine,” says Lam, denouncing the protest leaders as traitors.

As Max prepares to depart, Beijing orders a wave of arrests, sending a thousand police across the city to detain the remaining pro-democracy leadership. Claudia Mo is on the list.

“I never imagined Hong Kong would have come to this,” she says.

Reporter: Bill Birtles
Producer: Mark Corcoran

Watch ‘City of Fear’ on Foreign Correspondent, Tuesday 9 February at 8pm on ABC TV + iview. You can catch replays on ABC News channel Thursday at 12:30am, Saturdays at 9:30pm and Sundays at 6:30pm.