Away from Her

2006 film by Sarah Polley

Away from Her is a 2006 film about a man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease who faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, a wheel chair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.

Directed and written by Sarah Polley, based on a short story by Alice Munro.
It's never too late to become what you might have been. (taglines)

Fiona Anderson

  • I'm not all gone, Grant. Just, going. There are things I wish would go away. But won't. You know. Things we don't talk about. You never left me. You still made love to me, despite disturbing demands elsewhere. But all those sandals, Grant. All those bare female toes. What could you do but be a part of the time you were a part of? All those pretty girls. Didn't seem like anyone was willing to be left out. I think you did all right, compared to some of your colleagues. Those who left their wives and the women who wouldn't put up with it. I think people are too demanding. People want to be in love every single day. What a liability. And then that silly girl. That silly girl Veronica. Girls that age are always going around saying they're going to kill themselves. But that was that. Promised me a new life. We moved out here, that is exactly what you gave me. How long ago was that?...I'm going, but I'm not gone yet.
  • I think all we can aspire to in this situation is a little bit of grace.
  • I'd like to make love, and then I'd like you to go. Because I need to stay here and if you make it hard for me, I may cry so hard I'll never stop.
  • I think I may be beginning to disappear.


[Grant is talking with Fiona about her desire to move into the Meadowlake nursing home]
Grant: You're sure?
Fiona: I'm sure.
Grant: You don't want to just get a sense of the place? I don't want to make this decision alone.
Fiona: [turns and stares blankly at Grant] What place?
[Grant stares back at Fiona, aghast]
Fiona: Just kidding. [giggles]
Grant: [grinning] Fuck off.
Fiona: [smiling, then pensive] You're not making this decision alone, Grant. I've already made up my mind.
Grant: Okay.

[Madeleine is leading Grant down a garishly lit corridor during a tour of the nursing home]
Madeleine: So as you can see, we get a lot of natural light.
Grant: Yes, I can see that.

Grant: I'm quite aware of your policies. I'm more than aware of your fucking policies.
[Kristy leads Frank down the hallway, past a devastated Grant]
Frank: [as a play-by-play announcer] Well, once again, Nurse Kristy is taking me back to the second floor. The area to my right are the elevators, and as we go on down the hall, there's a man with a broken heart, broken in a thousand pieces. Well, we'll go to Madeleine's office, past the lunch room. Hopefully, they're serving right now. The cannelloni was cold yesterday, but let's see what it's doing today. Let's have - I gotta have some Cokes again. That's what I'm gonna do.

Marian: I'm thinking that sometimes you just have to make the decision to be happy. Just decide. Things aren't ever what you hoped they'd be. Not ever, for anybody. The only thing that separates one kind of person from another is there are some who stay angry about it and there are some who... accept what comes their way.
Grant: Which kind of person are you?
Marian: I was pretty mad about it. But now... looking at what came my way... [sigh] I think I could be the other kind of person. Quite the philosopher, huh?

Kristy: And, how old were you when you met?
Grant: She was 18.
Kristy: Holy! That's pretty young to get married, eh?
Grant: Wasn't my idea.
Kristy: You mean she proposed to you? Well, that's lovely, that's what I think. How'd she do it?
Grant: She hadn't planned it necessarily. We were in Tobermory, waiting for the ferry to Manitoulin, and it was miserable and rainy, and she was in a good mood. And, she didn't want any part of my sour mood.
Kristy: What'd she do, what'd she say?
Grant: Well, she said: "Do you think it'd be fun... Do you think it'd be fun if we got married?"
Kristy: And what did you say?
Grant: I took her up on it. I shouted yes. [pause] I never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life.


  • It's never too late to become what you might have been.
  • The ultimate love story.
  • Sometimes you have to let go of what you can't live without.


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