CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: James Cromwell, Genevieve Bujold Ground Moving ‘Still Mine’
CHICAGO – Into the “getting old sucks” genre with award-winners like Sarah Polley’s “Away From Her” and Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” we can add “Still Mine,” opening tomorrow, July 26, 2013, in Chicago. Grounded by two stellar performances from the great James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold, this Canadian production of a true story rests on a few melodramatic crutches too often but the honesty found by this pair of powerful actors builds to a truly moving final act. In particular, Cromwell (“Babe,” “American Horror Story: Asylum”) does some of the best work of his career. You’d have to be dead inside not to be moved by what he delivers here.
The accomplished actor plays Craig Morrison, an eighty-something farmer faced with a number of challenges late in life. First, the government regulations on his industry are pushing him, like so many small farmers, out of business. Second, his wife Irene (the lovely Bujold) is slowly losing her faculties. She doesn’t remember conversations and seems to scare easily. Craig decides that he’s going to use part of his multi-acre property to build a tiny home for them to move into and live out their remaining years, looking through a beautiful bay window at the gorgeous scenery around them. Sounds lovely, right?
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Still Mine” in our reviews section.|
Believe it or not, one can’t build a home on their own property with their own two hands without surmounting mountains of red tape. Lumber needs to be stamped, fittings need to be examined, permits need to be obtained – and more things for which Craig simply doesn’t have the patience. So while he’s trying to put up this house, worried that he may be running low on time for both his wife and himself, he has to deal with government bureaucrats willing to take him to court and bulldoze the last major life change he wanted to give his wife.
Naturally, the house takes on symbolic tones (although writer/director Michael McGowan never overplays them) in that it’s something true that a man can build with his bare hands that will last hundreds of years, long beyond our own measly lifespans. “Still Mine” is the story of a man building something sound while the foundation of his life, the woman with whom he has spent only a handful of nights apart in over six decades of marriage, begins to crumble.
Note: James Cromwell will be there in person at the Landmark Renaissance this Saturday night for a Q&A following the 7pm showing of the film.
Photo credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films