One of a dwindling number of family farmers in rural St. Martins, New Brunswick, Craig Morrison (James Cromwell) is used to doing things for himself. Sometimes cantankerous and always stubborn, he’s kept his traditional farm going in a period when industrial agriculture dominates the marketplace. The primary reason he’s been able to do so is his relationship with his wife, Irene (Geneviève Bujold), who’s as tough and determined as he is. But when her health begins to fail, Craig is faced with the choice of either building a new, more suitable home for her, or leaving the farm they have lived on for decades. A skilled carpenter, he figures the only obstacles he faces are time and the weather. That is, until he meets Rick (Jonathan Potts), a government inspector who makes it his personal mission to halt construction on the new house.
Based on a true story, Michael McGowan's Still is, in part, about the battle between heritage and modernity. Craig and Rick don't speak the same language — Craig isn't just annoyed at Rick’s persistence, he’s offended by it. Every joist in the new house is square and sturdy, he explains, because that's how his father taught him to do it. But at its heart, the film is an exquisitely mounted and deeply affecting love story about a couple in their twilight years. Filmmakers (or their financiers) have traditionally preferred to focus on younger couples or May–December relationships. As McGowan and his collaborators demonstrate, Craig and Irene's relationship is far richer because of the past they’ve shared. Their conversations are charged, direct, and laden with subtext — not the kind of empty verbal jousting we would normally see in a romance. (An offhand comment about Craig's old girlfriend indicates that old wounds still haven't healed; a discussion about death reveals how deeply connected they are.)
It helps that McGowan has found the perfect pair to bring Craig and Irene to the screen. As one might expect, Cromwell and Bujold are nothing short of magnificent.
Steve Gravestock, TIFF
Ticket information for the WIFF Monthly Film Series is posted under the "Buy Tickets" menu at the top of the page.
The 2014 FlickFest production dates are October 17th to 19th. Kick off orientation meeting is Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm in room 111 at MediaPlex, 275 Victoria Avenue.For information about 2014 FlickFest productions, check How to Get Started and 48-hour FlickFest Package. FlickFest is a fun, spirited event that epitomizes the grit, passion and determination of making films. Finalists are celebrated at WIFF closing night ceremonies where the Mark Boscariol Best of FlickFest Award is presented.
If you're from out of town, explore the WIFF website for hotel and visitor information, and start planning your next visit. Click here for a map of downtown Windsor.