Sarah Polley, the wildly talented Canadian actress who I will never be able to think of as anything but the poor little girl in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, is making her feature directorial (and screenwriting) debut at the ripe old age of 27. Based on an Alice Munro short story called The Bear Came Over the Mountain, the film - entitled Away from Her - tells the story of an aging married couple whose warm, comfortable relationship is thrown asunder when the wife is moved into a nursing home that can deal with her worsening Alzheimer’s. When, after two months of "adjustment," her husband is allowed to visit her for the first time, his wife has "forgotten him and turned her affection to...another resident in the home." I'll spare you further details but trust me, it just gets more depressing.

Either a lot of people saw Polley's 2001 short I Shout Love, and were impressed, or faith in her is running rampant, because the cast she's put together for her debut features a pair of pretty big names: Julie Christie will play the afflicted wife, and Olympia Dukakis is also appearing in the film. Atom Egoyan, meanwhile, is executive producing, and Luc Montpellier, who shot both I Shout Love and Guy Maddin's gorgeous The Saddest Music in the World, is on board as cinematographer.

Man alive. I know she's untested and all, but it's clear from that list that if Polley doesn't make it good as a director, a whole lot of knowledgeable people will be awfully surprised.
categories Cinematical