Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The Stone Angel

Director: Kari Skogland
Country: Canada

Based on the famous Canadian novel of the same name by author Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel is the story of Hagar Currie Shipley (Ellen Burstyn), a very headstrong 90-something woman who is about to be put into a nursing home by her son. She resists the idea, a reaction that is a result of an attitude shaped by her past.

Told in parallels between the present and the past (the younger Hagar played by Christine Horne), The Stone Angel is a story about a woman trying to come to terms with her life as she reaches its end. It presents fragments of Hagar's past that dramatically affected her, slowly exposing the reason for her defiant behaviour while also making her more of a sympathetic character. I really liked this one. I could kind of see areas where (I would imagine) bits from the novel were left out, which makes me want to read the entire story, which is a much-loved classic in Canada.

I hear that this was a required text within the Canadian education system, and a very popular one at that, so I would say that this will appeal to anybody who was brought up in that system. However, as with most adaptations, expect to nitpick during the movie. On a broader scale, this is a very solid drama in its own right.

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