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4 items from 2006


The Secret Life of Words

22 December 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Strand Releasing

NEW YORK -- The Secret Life of Words, Isabel Coixet's follow-up to her acclaimed My Life Without Me, proves as pretentious as its title. An enigmatic romance between a deaf, emotionally shutdown woman (Sarah Polley) and the voluble burn victim (Tim Robbins) whom she nurses back to health on an oil rig, the film is ironically undone by the explicitness of its dialogue in the final scenes. Hanna (Polley) embraces her deafness, strategically shutting off her hearing aid in order to shut herself off from the world's intrusions. Her only meaningful contact comes via phone calls to a mysterious woman (Julie Christie) in which she hangs up without saying a word.

When, after four years without taking a break, she is not-so-gently forced to take a monthlong vacation by her concerned boss, she improbably winds up on an oil rig off the coast of Ireland, where she tends to Josef (Robbins), who suffered severe burns and temporarily blindness while attempting to help a co-worker after an explosion.

Despite his injuries, Josef is chatty and flirtatious and is only more intrigued by Hanna's refusal to engage with him in a meaningful fashion. Eventually, his humor and warmth break down her defenses, resulting in a tearful monologue in which she details the reasons for her self-imposed isolation.

This is drawn out in attenuated fashion, with comic relief provided via a chatty cook (Javier Camara) who has taken a shine to Hanna.

While both lead performers deliver moving, complex performances, they are hamstrung by the predictable, cliched elements of Coixet's script, which is particularly obvious when it gets around to delineating the background of Polley's character. The claustrophobic and artificial atmosphere of the setting is unfortunately matched by the equally artificial drama. »

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Lionsgate Gets 'Away From Her'

14 September 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Quick Links > Sarah Polley > Julie Christie > Olympia Dukakis > Lionsgate Films > Toronto film festival The big stars may be feeling left in the lurch as the Toronto International Film Festival plows forward, but independents and up-and-comers have continued to take center stage and garner strong distribution deals. Lionsgate Entertainment, the leader in independent film distribution announced on Wednesday that they have penned a deal with newcomer Sarah Polley for her feature-length directorial debut Away From Her which preemed on Monday night. The flick stars Julie Christy as an Alzheimer’s patient placed in an institution who begins to turn from her cheating husband to another patient played by Michael Murphy. The cast includes Oscar® winning actress Olympia Dukakis as Marian. The film garnered critical and audience acclaim after its Monday night screening an Lionsgate Films wasted no time in garnering the rights. In a press release issued by Lionsgate, President »

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Trio join Polley's 'Away' team

21 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis and Michael Murphy have joined the cast of Canadian actress Sarah Polley's feature-film directorial debut, Away From Her. Adapted by Polley from an Alice Munro short story, Away portrays Christie as the forgetful, elderly wife of a philanderer in a nursing home who turns her affections to another resident, played by Murphy. Rounding out the Away From Her cast is Gordon Pinsent, Wendy Crewson, Kristen Thomson and Alberta Watson. Polley, who has written and directed two short films, The Best Day of My Life and Don't Think Twice, will begin shooting Away From Her on April 7 in rural Ontario. Canadian distributor Capri Releasing has acquired the domestic Canadian rights, William Morris Independent is shopping the U.S. rights and HanWay is handling worldwide sales. Producer credits go to Jennifer Weiss, Simone Urdl and Daniel Iron, while Atom Egoyan is executive producing. »

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Trio join Polley's 'Away' team

21 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis and Michael Murphy have joined the cast of Canadian actress Sarah Polley's feature-film directorial debut, Away From Her. Adapted by Polley from an Alice Munro short story, Away portrays Christie as the forgetful, elderly wife of a philanderer in a nursing home who turns her affections to another resident, played by Murphy. Rounding out the Away From Her cast is Gordon Pinsent, Wendy Crewson, Kristen Thomson and Alberta Watson. Polley, who has written and directed two short films, The Best Day of My Life and Don't Think Twice, will begin shooting Away From Her on April 7 in rural Ontario. Canadian distributor Capri Releasing has acquired the domestic Canadian rights, William Morris Independent is shopping the U.S. rights and HanWay is handling worldwide sales. Producer credits go to Jennifer Weiss, Simone Urdl and Daniel Iron, while Atom Egoyan is executive producing. »

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4 items from 2006


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