A 90-year-old woman, rapidly losing her memory and knowing that sooner or later her life will be over, returns to the Manitoba farmhouse she grew up in to try and make peace with her dysfunctional family.
A young boy working in Nova Scotia's treacherous coal mines in the beginning of the 20th century, finds a friend in a pony, one of the ponies used to haul coal up from the tunnels to be used at the railway and steel mill.
A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's floundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.
Agnes returns to her hometown in Nova Scotia to reunite with her estranged sisters and care for her dying mother. As they tend to their mother, family secrets emerge and disrupt the sisters' fragile dynamic. Written by
Marion Bridge was one of 14 films nominated for the Tiger Awards of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2003 and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this film win. I have deep respect for the actresses who play the three sisters Agnes, Theresa and Louise, especially for Molly Parker (Agnes aka Angie). Mother is dying in the remote village in Nova Scotia where the sisters spent their youth. Agnes, who has an alcohol problem (inherited from her mother, as it seems), returns from Toronto just to find nothing has really changed. There is the usual bickering with her sisters, the woman next door is as nosy as ever and the people getting drunk in the local bar seem to have never left the building. A notion of suspense is triggered as Agnes repeatedly parks the family car in front of a souvenir shop. There she sits and watches the young girl Joanie who lives there. As the drama slowly develops questions are answered and new questions launched, even after the plot is unveiled. I won't give it away here, but I can assure it is quite shocking. The three sisters are very well cast as is their mother. The father who lives with another woman is an old sod who doesn't seem to remember (or care) what has happened in the past. Marion Bridge ends with an optimistic scene which is as moving as the film as a whole. A noteworthy achievement by young director Wiebke von Carolsfeld.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?