If you’re struggling with dementia—either in yourself or in your spouse—or have a family history of Alzheimer’s and are grappling with the possibility of your developing dementia someday…or if you have a parent or other loved one who’s becoming demented, then I recommend the Canadian romantic drama, Still Mine, which is based on the moving, true story of an elderly couple from near Fundy Bay in St. Martin’s, New Brunswick. Still Mine, released in May, 2013, garnered 7 nominations for 1st Canadian Screen Awards, and James Cromwell, who played the role of Craig Morrison (husband in the film) won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. The pace is slow and unrelenting, like the iron-willed husband, but the story’s intention is to infuriate you with the foolishness of inflexible bureaucracy while celebrating that which is profoundly inspiring in excellent character, excellent work, and undying faithfulness. Craig Morrison lived on a 2,000 acre farm with a sweeping view of the Bay of Fundy, but he wasn’t feeling flush with cash when his beloved wife, Irene (to whom he’d been married for 61 years) began slipping slowly into the heart-wrenching disability of dementia. In order to care for her, 88-year-old Craig began a new project: his fifth hand-built home…a small, ranch-style house where he could keep track of Irene with no fear of her falling down the stairs. The Morrisons unbelievable battle with government regulations is recorded in a manner that causes one to ponder the plight of modern democratic society, where our “freedoms” are becoming not nearly so free as they used to be…highly regulated and curtailed.Rotten Tomatoes gave Still Mine a rating of 93%, which I think it deserves. We did fast-forward one scene where it looked like they might be heading to nudity (gratuitous and unnecessary for the plot), and there was distressing profanity which really distracted from the story. (If you have “Clear Play,” that would turn it into an A+ movie, I think). However, I was deeply impacted by the modeling of the husband’s stalwart love for his wife, his protecting and defending her (even from their children at times), and his unbending resolve to do what was best for her despite constant harassment from the government and even threats of imprisonment. Talk about a super man! Craig Morrison is a super hero in my book!
“Charity suffers long, and is kind…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Charity never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4,7-8).
(The last picture is of “the real” Craig Morrison, who passed away at the age of 93 on February 11, 2013, shortly before Still Mine released in the theaters. He was(is?) survived by his beloved wife, Irene, 17 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren, and I’ll bet he’s a super hero to them too!)