Opening this Friday from director/writer Michael McGowan, Mongrel Media and Samuel Goldwyn Films is a film to be experiences because it’s STILL MINE.
This film tells the story of farmer Craig Morrison (James Cromwell) and his lovely wife Irene (Genevieve Bujold), a couple in there 80’s sharing their lives after the kids have grown and gone. Growing crops and cattle they are living day to day together.
But Craig has already begun to notice something is wrong with Irene. Little things here and there until the little things become noticeable to everyone else. Yet the couple is still in love and have their memories in private moments.
Whittling down their lives, Craig decided to build a house near the lake on their land. Neighbor Chester (George R. Robertson) bring them news that even though the land belongs to Morrison, they must pay a fee and have plans to build the house.
Son Gavin (Ronan Reese) is the spokesman for the siblings keeping an eye on their parents but daughter Ruth (Julie Stewart) wants more. Rules, regulations, and laws are getting in the way of the dream. Bureaucrat Mr. Daigle (Jonathan Potts) seems to have it out for Craig and puts a halt to the building.
The clock is ticking swiftly on both finishing the house and Irene losing herself into a place where Craig won’t be able to reach.
FINAL WORD: James Cromwell in lovely and endearing as Craig. I could actually feel a knot in my chest watching this characters life change so dramatically. Cromwell makes us believe Craig and brings us into his pain and sorrow. Raised in a time of honor and pride in land ownership there doesn’t seem to be room in this world for a person such as he and again – its painful to witness.
Bujold has the hardest role here and she performs with such grace and magnificent beauty. Watching this strong character who obviously loves life, family and her man of 61 years dwindle before us is heart breaking to watch yet hopeful. Bujold offers us a rare glimpse of love, humor and a slipping away of all she holds dear. Until the film’s conclusion she has us emotionally and we go willingly.
Robertson as Chester is the family friend who irritates Craig to no end – until the end comes. One of the most powerful scenes in the film actually. Reese as son Gavin has his “father’s” sense of humor and comes to see what he thinks is best might actually not be. Watching Stewart as Ruth try to understand what is happening is expected yet she is patient trusting in her father.
Potts as Mr. Daigle just seemed to have it out for this house builder. Every time he shows up it is written on his face that bureaucracy over rides what is ethically right. Campell as the lawyer Fulton is just as easy going as Craig which might explain their relationship over the years. I’m personally happy to see Campell once again.
Other cast include: Zachary Bennett as Jeff, Rick Roberts as John, Hawksley Workman as Gus, Barbara Gordon as Margaret Jones, Lewis Hodgson as Dr. Murphy.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give STILL MINE five tubs of popcorn out of five. I cannot say enough about this film and will tell everyone I know. Watching to these two fine actors plays these roles is nothing short of astonishing. The stories they remember and share with one another give the viewer such a personal look at life and a love that has no legal boundaries. There are so many moments in this film that become personal and equally become engrained in the viewer’s heart – it is impossible for this story not to.
There is no cgi, car chases, nothing blowing up, being shot or smashed. There isn’t anything loud or obnoxious to distract from feeling every emotion to its fullest. This is a simple story about a simple man who loved a woman enough to fight for what was right. The film moves at the pace it should with lovely scenery of New Brunswick.
The music by Mumford & Sons bring such emotion and yes, even tears. The scene that this music plays with Cromwell will bring even the hardened filmgoer to the brink. “With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair” this telling embraces everything we are and the possibilities of what we can be when done in the name of love.
The film has already won the Genie Award and the Seattle International Film Festival Award for Best Actor/James Cromwell. It came in Second Place with the Audience Award as the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
In the end – still determined and still devoted.