Saturday, February 23, 2013
Not the best choice for me today
I'd heard the film was a love story about two long-marrieds reaching the end of their lives. That's true, as far as it goes. What I was unaware of was what an unsparing portrait of old age and illness it paints. After Anne, the character played by Riva, suffers a stroke, she is on a swift and brutal decline toward death. She loses first the use of her right side, then control of her bladder. The meds she must take to combat the pain leaves her speaking gibberish. She is frightened and angry. Her loving husband is forlorn and exhausted.
It reminded me too much of watching my 77-year-old mother fight for her life last September. Like Anne in the movie, my mother ultimately lost her battle. And it was one very brutal battle indeed.
So while there is much to this movie to recommend it, I'm sorry I let my Oscar mania overrule my sense. This is not the movie I should have seen while battling the blues. There's a Die Hard movie playing on another screen in the very same theater. Why didn't I opt for Bruce Willis in a torn t-shirt? That's always guaranteed to raise my spirits.