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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

If you could leave your loved ones a memento like this to cherish, how easy it would be to accept that final lift from the oarsman!

Author: uds3 from Longmont, Colorado
15 November 2001

Not many people get to dedicate their lives literally, to film in such a way that they leave behind the greatest of diaries you could never have committed to paper. Sheila Florance, grand dame of Australian television and the big-screen has managed just that.

At 78 years of age and dying of cancer herself, she plays elderly Martha, who's terminal cancer is no barrier to her enjoying her last days with her family, the image of dignity and wisdom - traits that she has shown all her life.

This marvellous life-affirming film is one of Paul Cox's best, in fact one of Australia's finest productions. It would be impossible not to be significantly moved by it and taking perhaps a minute or three to review your own life and direction.

Sheila Florance, beloved of many long-term viewers, died just two days after receiving her AFI award for Best Actress for her role as Martha. It was a fitting reward for a lifetime's contribution made.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

What an excellent film!

9/10
Author: Ali Nagib (alinagib@uiuc.edu) from Urbana, IL
28 April 2000

I just saw this film at the Roger Ebert 2000 Overlooked Film Festival, and I want to say that it is most certainly one film that is more than worth seeing. The sheer power, emotion, and heart that this film brings is absolutely incredible. I also got to hear the director comment on the film, and I realized just how much sheer love went into this film. For anyone who is looking for a film that will make you feel good about life, this is one to see.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

As Beautiful and Moving as You'll Ever See

10/10
Author: Ronni from Bay Area, California
25 September 2002

This movie is one of the greatest of all times, along with Chushingura, The Burmese Harp, Ken Russell's 'Women In Love' and the Aussie Movie, 'Bliss'(not american version).... Moves you and makes me glad to be alive, great acting, great film techniques, shows don't need a big budget to make a beautiful film above the crap from Hollywood.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Life-Affirming View Of Dying

Author: Jay Fenton (jjfenton@nb.net) from Pittsburgh, PA
6 March 2001

A WOMAN'S TALE. A touching, sensitive, Australian film about an elderly woman dying of cancer (played by 78 year old actress Sheila Florance who knew she was dying of cancer when the film was being made) who has lost none of her joie de vivre and continues to live life to the fullest without the smallest hint of self-pity for her future death, which she knows is imminent.

The marvelous thing about this film is watching Florance's cheerful disposition, while those around her wear long faces. Through flashbacks, we see the tragedy of her past life; and in the present, the resignation of the other old people living in her apartment building who once led formerly productive, vigorous lives, but have now given up. She never gives up and this strength inspires much younger people------who only grudgingly tolerate her-----to admire her strength and see older people in a different way. This used to be referred to as a "small film" but with great feeling behind it.

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