Mar 23, 2019
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Sarah Polley about writing/directing

TORONTO (CP) "I am in the early years of marriage and I loved the idea of examining in a real way what marriage looks like after that long and what does happen after you fail each other and there have been obstacles," Polley said in a recent interview as she raced to put the finishing touches on Away from Her, her feature film directorial debut.

"The story is about devotion, and what devotion means after a real life and real failures."

Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent, will have its world premiere on Sept. 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, Polley’s adaptation of Munro’s The Bear Came Over the Mountain, tells the story of Grant and Fiona after Fiona, suffering from Alzheimer’s and living in a nursing home, becomes romantically attached to a fellow patient, Aubrey.

When Aubrey leaves the facility, a confused Fiona becomes deeply despondent. Out of love for his wife, Grant, with his own history of straying during their 50-year marriage, swallows his male pride and urges Aubrey’s wife to re-admit him to the nursing home for the good of Fiona’s mental health.

The movie put Polley, 27, in a potentially precarious situation: working on a movie about the complexity of marriage alongside her husband of three years, film editor David Wharnsby.

The couple assumed working side by side on a film delving into matrimony might be trying at times, said Polley, who also wrote the screenplay.

"We both had anticipated it would be difficult and it would be full of tribulation but it wasn’t. It was an incredible experience to be able to sit in a room together 24 hours a day and make decisions about a film about marriage, and to disagree and to have it come together."

Atom Egoyan, the executive producer of Away from Her, said he was impressed that Polley chose the tale to make her feature filmmaking debut.

"I think it’ll surprise a lot of people; it’s very assured," he said. "It’s just very interesting to see how a young person deals with these issues of an old relationship. She’s a great filmmaker."

Away from Her is also a rare vehicle for Julie Christie, the iconic British actress who plays Fiona. Polley said it took some doing to get the reclusive star to sign on.

"It was a long process to get her to do it," said Polley, who had worked with Christie previously. "She really did like the script and spent a long time agonizing over it, but in the end she said no because she’s really ambivalent … she has a really odd relationship with acting, like I do. She’s a pretty reluctant actor and she doesn’t particularly want to work a lot right now.

"I felt it was my job to convince her, and it took seven or eight months to get her to agree to do it."

Indeed, getting Away from Her made was a labour of love on all fronts, Polley adds, but one that’s given her much more satisfaction than acting.

"On the most basic personal level, it’s something I had to struggle and fight to do. There’s an incredible feeling or accomplishment in actually having to really struggle to make a decision and get something done," she said. "There’s a huge difference in the amount of weight when you’re coming up to a screening of a film you wrote and directed rather than a film you just acted in.

"It’s so much more exhilarating to be starting up a dialogue with people and seeing an audience’s response. It’s really so great, and I can’t wait to do it again _ I’ve got a lot of ideas buzzing around in my head."

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Headline, Industry News

Sarah Polley about writing/directing

TORONTO (CP) "I am in the early years of marriage and I loved the idea of examining in a real way what marriage looks like after that long and what does happen after you fail each other and there have been obstacles," Polley said in a recent interview as she raced to put the finishing touches on Away from Her, her feature film directorial debut.

"The story is about devotion, and what devotion means after a real life and real failures."

Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent, will have its world premiere on Sept. 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, Polley’s adaptation of Munro’s The Bear Came Over the Mountain, tells the story of Grant and Fiona after Fiona, suffering from Alzheimer’s and living in a nursing home, becomes romantically attached to a fellow patient, Aubrey.

When Aubrey leaves the facility, a confused Fiona becomes deeply despondent. Out of love for his wife, Grant, with his own history of straying during their 50-year marriage, swallows his male pride and urges Aubrey’s wife to re-admit him to the nursing home for the good of Fiona’s mental health.

The movie put Polley, 27, in a potentially precarious situation: working on a movie about the complexity of marriage alongside her husband of three years, film editor David Wharnsby.

The couple assumed working side by side on a film delving into matrimony might be trying at times, said Polley, who also wrote the screenplay.

"We both had anticipated it would be difficult and it would be full of tribulation but it wasn’t. It was an incredible experience to be able to sit in a room together 24 hours a day and make decisions about a film about marriage, and to disagree and to have it come together."

Atom Egoyan, the executive producer of Away from Her, said he was impressed that Polley chose the tale to make her feature filmmaking debut.

"I think it’ll surprise a lot of people; it’s very assured," he said. "It’s just very interesting to see how a young person deals with these issues of an old relationship. She’s a great filmmaker."

Away from Her is also a rare vehicle for Julie Christie, the iconic British actress who plays Fiona. Polley said it took some doing to get the reclusive star to sign on.

"It was a long process to get her to do it," said Polley, who had worked with Christie previously. "She really did like the script and spent a long time agonizing over it, but in the end she said no because she’s really ambivalent … she has a really odd relationship with acting, like I do. She’s a pretty reluctant actor and she doesn’t particularly want to work a lot right now.

"I felt it was my job to convince her, and it took seven or eight months to get her to agree to do it."

Indeed, getting Away from Her made was a labour of love on all fronts, Polley adds, but one that’s given her much more satisfaction than acting.

"On the most basic personal level, it’s something I had to struggle and fight to do. There’s an incredible feeling or accomplishment in actually having to really struggle to make a decision and get something done," she said. "There’s a huge difference in the amount of weight when you’re coming up to a screening of a film you wrote and directed rather than a film you just acted in.

"It’s so much more exhilarating to be starting up a dialogue with people and seeing an audience’s response. It’s really so great, and I can’t wait to do it again _ I’ve got a lot of ideas buzzing around in my head."

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Headline, Industry News

Sarah Polley about writing/directing

TORONTO (CP) "I am in the early years of marriage and I loved the idea of examining in a real way what marriage looks like after that long and what does happen after you fail each other and there have been obstacles," Polley said in a recent interview as she raced to put the finishing touches on Away from Her, her feature film directorial debut.

"The story is about devotion, and what devotion means after a real life and real failures."

Away from Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent, will have its world premiere on Sept. 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, Polley’s adaptation of Munro’s The Bear Came Over the Mountain, tells the story of Grant and Fiona after Fiona, suffering from Alzheimer’s and living in a nursing home, becomes romantically attached to a fellow patient, Aubrey.

When Aubrey leaves the facility, a confused Fiona becomes deeply despondent. Out of love for his wife, Grant, with his own history of straying during their 50-year marriage, swallows his male pride and urges Aubrey’s wife to re-admit him to the nursing home for the good of Fiona’s mental health.

The movie put Polley, 27, in a potentially precarious situation: working on a movie about the complexity of marriage alongside her husband of three years, film editor David Wharnsby.

The couple assumed working side by side on a film delving into matrimony might be trying at times, said Polley, who also wrote the screenplay.

"We both had anticipated it would be difficult and it would be full of tribulation but it wasn’t. It was an incredible experience to be able to sit in a room together 24 hours a day and make decisions about a film about marriage, and to disagree and to have it come together."

Atom Egoyan, the executive producer of Away from Her, said he was impressed that Polley chose the tale to make her feature filmmaking debut.

"I think it’ll surprise a lot of people; it’s very assured," he said. "It’s just very interesting to see how a young person deals with these issues of an old relationship. She’s a great filmmaker."

Away from Her is also a rare vehicle for Julie Christie, the iconic British actress who plays Fiona. Polley said it took some doing to get the reclusive star to sign on.

"It was a long process to get her to do it," said Polley, who had worked with Christie previously. "She really did like the script and spent a long time agonizing over it, but in the end she said no because she’s really ambivalent … she has a really odd relationship with acting, like I do. She’s a pretty reluctant actor and she doesn’t particularly want to work a lot right now.

"I felt it was my job to convince her, and it took seven or eight months to get her to agree to do it."

Indeed, getting Away from Her made was a labour of love on all fronts, Polley adds, but one that’s given her much more satisfaction than acting.

"On the most basic personal level, it’s something I had to struggle and fight to do. There’s an incredible feeling or accomplishment in actually having to really struggle to make a decision and get something done," she said. "There’s a huge difference in the amount of weight when you’re coming up to a screening of a film you wrote and directed rather than a film you just acted in.

"It’s so much more exhilarating to be starting up a dialogue with people and seeing an audience’s response. It’s really so great, and I can’t wait to do it again _ I’ve got a lot of ideas buzzing around in my head."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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