Still Mine Review

Still Mine is a drama/love story that debuted on September 10, 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

When the show opens, we are introduced to the adamant Craig Morrison (James Cromwell, American Horror Story). He is being told by the Canadian governement officials that his his home is not up to code. Craig refuses to listen to them and continues on with his business.

His wife, Irene (Geneviève Bujold) is beginning to show some early signs of dementia, but Craig is not familiar with this disease and tends to show little patience for Irene. He forcefully accuses her of trying to intentionally sabotage their home by leaving a pan on the stove, unattended.

The two have a very passionate, intimate moment that shows how much they truly love each other. 

Craig heads down to the local market to sell a truck load of strawberries, but is immediately told that they can no longer purchase them because they have not been transported in a refrigerated truck so they have not been protected from spoiling properly. New laws are go into force that everyone must follow, so this means Craig looses money on his acre of strawberries.

Things are not going so great for the couple so they are forced to build another, smaller home, which will make life easier for them. Craig refuses to hire help, even after his persistent son, John (Rick Roberts), tries to encourage him to do so. 

Craig is now pushed to spending $400+ for a building permit but must show the building plans before he can receive it. His grandson, Jeffrey Leblanc (Zachery Bennett) agrees to help his grandfather develop the blueprints for the home. 

Craig is a very impatient man and wants to get the ball rolling ASAP. His son brings his backhoe over and the foundation is completed in a very short time, which is exactly what Craig wants. The daughter, Ruth (Julie Stewart) insists that Craig turn the project into a family project, but Craig is still determined to complete the home on his own. 

Craig is faced with another road block, a stop work order is left by the stony-hearted Rick Daigle (Jonathan Potts), who is a public servant that is hired to enforce the laws. He warns Craig about his continuation of the building’s construction but again Craig refuses to listen. 

Jeffrey finishes the blueprints, which are handed over to Rick, but he still isn’t satisfied because the wood has been roughly sawn from Craig’s land and air dried properly but it is not officially stamped. Jeffrey tells Craig that his wood is unsafe and he cannot continue the building process.

Irene’s condition continues to decline and Craig is well aware of this so he is forced to push is project forward. She is hospitalized after a fall down a flight of steps and Craig is faced with the fact that Irene’s life is slipping away quickly. He works diligently trying to safe proof the home so that she will be safe while he is away working on the home.

Craig is a very independent man and refuses to accept help from anyone, even though everyone wants to assist him by taking care of Irene and helping him build his new home. 

Irene admits to being afraid and she pretty much knows her fate. He promises to take care of her until the end. She shows her jealous side by mentioning one of Craig’s long lost loves, who she finds out that died thirty years earlier.

Craig hires and inspector to certify that his wood is safe for building. His lawyer and he meet with the bureaucrats and they approve the wood but he still has six more building code errors to fix before the permit is cleared and he can continue building. 

Meanwhile, Irene decides to take off on a solo adventure and Craig finally locates her at the beach, where she is smoking a cigarette but she forgot where she got it. She becomes combative when Craig tries to take her into the house. He suceeds but not without much difficulty. She falls again and is transported to the hospital. Ruth and John tell Craig that he is going to have to admit her and he calmly say that he can’t because it will be like burying her.

Craig must leave Irene in the hospital physcial therapy rehab department, for rehabiliation after post-op for a broken hip, which he emotionally handles very well under the circumstances.

He apologizes to unsympathetic Dagle but that gets him nowhere. He continues to work on the house even though he is not legally supposed to. He is served with a subpoena to appear in court but that does not stop him. A reporter has agreed to do a story on Craig’s struggle with the building officials. 

Craig is showing signs of aging and struggles to get out of bed. He looses his best friend, Chester Jones (George R. Robertson) and this makes death more of a reality for him. 

He goes to court and explains to the judge, (Chuck Shamata) that he is either “going to jail or home” and that he will have a clear conscious either way. 

Will Craig win his case against the building officials or will he have to scratch the rest of his plans? Will they both have to surrender to a skilled nursing facility for the rest of their lives?


Afterthought

This lovely film is definitely a must see. If you have ever been faced with putting a spouse or loved one in the nursing home, due to dementia or Alzheimer’s, you will relate to this movie perfectly. It is hard to watch Craig struggle with Irene’s condition and fight with the building department. He is definitely a strong and determined man that will go through Hell and high water to see his plans through to the end. 

Review

If you are into romance movies with a lot of drama you should take the time to watch Still Mine. James Cromwell did an impeccable job in his role as Craig. The writers and directors outdid themselves with how well the screenplay is written and played out. This film deserves an 8 out of 10. 

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