The tag line for Still Mine (111 minutes, PG-13) is that “love is the ultimate triumph,” and it’s a phrase that is shouldered with a ton of perseverance from longtime couple Craig and Irene Morrison (Craig Morrison, Genevieve Bujold).
Now out on Blu-ray and DVD, Still Mine mines similar territories as Away From Her and Amour, as each film gives us an even eyed look at growing old. Craig is a hard as nails retiree who continues to fight even with his wife’s early signs of dementia, and since their home may be too much for them to handle, he attempts to build a smaller residence on their bountiful land (the story is set in St. Martins village in New Brunswick, Canada).
Complications ensue when a government inspector (Jonathan Potts) claims Craig’s plans are violating building codes, and Campbell Scott co-stars as the lawyer who tries to help the Morrisons achieve Craig’s seemingly elusive dream.
Before they’re ready to turn off the light and end another day, Irene makes romantic overtures to her longtime lover and says “I want to look at you, old man.” Filmmaker and writer Michael McGowan gives us a subtle, and ultimately unflinching portrait of a loving couple who’ve been married for 61 years. Everything comes to an end, but Craig is too stubborn and prideful to give in to the inevitable. Whether it’s continuing his battles with a building inspector (Jonathan Potts) or shutting his children out from his own decision making process, Craig is determined to do things his way.
Both Bujold and Cromwell have crafted distinguished acting careers, and Still Mine features some of their best work. McGowan could have turned the story into an overwrought drama that lazily tugs on our innate sentimentality, but instead he honors their story in a truthful, and ultimately heartrending light. The story of two old people waiting for that final sunset may come off as boring cinema, but Still Mine proves that even the simplest stories, if their aim is true, rarely miss the mark.
Unfortunately, there are no Blu-ray special features, as an audio commentary from McGowan and the two leads would have been more than welcome.