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.


Kari Skogland


Kari Skogland, Margaret Laurence (novel)
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Burstyn ... Hagar
Dylan Baker ... Marvin
Sheila McCarthy ... Doris
Judy Marshak ... Silver Elms Matron
Doreen Brownstone ... Silver Elms Bridge Player
Samantha Weinstein ... Child Hagar
Ryland Thiessen Ryland Thiessen ... Child Telford
Mackenzie Munro ... Child Charlotte
Connor Price ... Child Matt
Jordan Todosey ... Child Lottie
Ardith Boxall Ardith Boxall ... Lottie's Mother
Arne MacPherson ... Doctor
Ted Atherton ... Reverend Troy
Christine Horne ... Young Hagar
R. Morgan Slade R. Morgan Slade ... Young Telford


In Manitoba, Hagar Shipley is nearing 90. She has little, she tells us, but her memories. Over several weeks, during which she runs away from her son and daughter-in-law who want to place her in a nursing home, returning to the small town where she grew up and the now-derelict farmhouse where she was married and raised two sons, we follow Hagar in the present and in memories that trace her childhood, marriage in defiance of her father, and later losses. She's fiercely even foolishly proud. Can she make peace with anyone she loves, or is she left to rage against the dying of the light? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes it takes your whole life to get it right. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


There were over 50 picture vehicles used in the filming that spanned 5 decades. See more »


During the first flashback scene when the children are running away from the funeral home a black hatchback with rear windshield wiper is seen in an alley off to the right of the screen. See more »


Arlene: I want to have a baby.
John: We're broke.
Arlene: We love each other. It'll be a love child.
[they both laugh quietly. meanwhile, Hagar walks silently in and sees what's going on]
John: Well, my mom leaves town in a couple weeks. Then we can get married, and we can talk about having a baby, okay?
Arlene: I don't care about a wedding or anything.
John: You can have whatever you want.
[it becomes more intense; they are both breathing faster]
Arlene: [breathlessly] I want lots of babies.
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The Devil is Dead
Sang by Wings Hauser and Landon Norris
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User Reviews

Is Hagar supposed to be funny?
25 May 2008 | by divinerSee all my reviews

Margret Laurence probably didn't intend on having any of her novels adopted for film, let alone the Stone Angel. Hagar, as a character, was one who constantly challenged the social norm (Gainsay who dare, anyone?), and ended up nearly sacrificing her humanity in the process. The symbols in the book (the Stone Angel, Silver Thread, etc, etc.) are constant reminders of this struggle of the old and new, and the carnage (so to speak) along the way.

While the film is reasonably faithful to the plot of the book (but it isn't really a plot kind-of storytelling, is it?), I think it missed the point on capturing the spirit of the film. Hagar's defiance (for the sake of defiance) was not there. Bram could have been a lot more crude than portrayed, and Hagar's father could have been played more "traditionally", so to speak. If the filmmaker would insisted on stronger portrayals, the film would drive the point straight to home.

Along the same vein, why should we see cell phones, organic produce, and other modernizations? Are we trying make some points for the sake of making some points (e.g., the Muslim girlfriend and the Native people). Hagar and co. are everything but politically correct in the book, so why should we see that in the film version. Modernization may be an excuse for a low-budget operation, but using that as an excuse to send subliminal politically-correct messages that are totally irrelevant to the novel (and the film) seems like throwing punches below the intellect.

There is also the audience. It seems that we have been conditioned to see bitter old people as cute and lovable. Why should be laugh every time Hagar is at her tantrums? I doubt Magaret Laurence wanted her readers to laugh at, or with, Hagar. These people are frustrated and are full of angst, and all we do is to laugh at them. I don't think it did Hagar and other folks in her situation any justice.

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Canada | UK



Release Date:

11 July 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Stone Angel See more »

Filming Locations:

Hartney, Manitoba, Canada See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,883, 13 July 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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