Friday, July 26, 2013

James Cromwell's Time Shine in "Still Mine"


“Still Mine” Funny, Inspirational and Proud

By Skip Sheffield

It has taken James Cromwell a lifetime to work his way up to the lead role of Craig Morrison, the care-giving hero of “Still Mine.” The Samuel Goldwyn Film, which debuted at Miami International Film Festival, opens locally July 26 at Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton and the Movies of Delray. Cromwell was nominated for an Academy award for best supporting actor in “Babe.” This film could put him up for the big prize.
Both Cromwell and writer-director Michael McGowan visited Miami earlier this year to promote “Still Mine.” The screenplay is based of a real-life case in Canada that McGowan read about in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The long and short of it was at age 88, Craig Morrison decided to build a new, improved house for him and his wife, who was becoming increasingly incapacitated by dementia.
Irene Morrison is played by French-Canadian movie star Genevieve Bujold, still lovely in older age.
Both Cromwell, who is now 73, and Bujold, 71, play older than their real ages. Like the real Craig Morrison, James Cromwell is a tall, strapping, rugged man befitting an individual who was always self-reliant and self-sufficient, farming, lumbering and raising seven children on a piece of paradise in New Brunswick.
If you have ever had a problem with building inspectors or code enforcement, you will relate to the character of Craig Morrison. He built the house from lumber he had sawed himself from trees on his property. Morrison wanted to finish the project as quickly and efficiently as possible, but there was a fatal flaw in his plan. He did not apply for the proper building permits required by the National Building Code of Canada.
Morrison was advised by his lawyer (Campbell Scott) that he had better ante up the $400 building fee.
Morrison paid up, but he had rankled the by-the-book government building inspector (Jonathan Potts)
The war of nerves continued as Morrison wracked up violations (26 in all) and Irene’s condition deteriorated. Morrison’s daughter Ruth (Julie Stewart) and friendly neighbor Chester (George R. Robertson) urged Morrison to throw in the towel, but Craig was a strong and stubborn man. By this time the government had issued an order to demolish the house. Through it all Morrison remained dedicated to his failing wife.
“It’s a love story at its core,” said McGowan in Miami. “I met Irene in the latter stages of dementia, but she seemed beautiful and happy. She finally had a room with a view.”
Funny and inspirational, “Still Mine” is a moving tribute to real love.

P.S. Craig Morrison died two weeks prior to the Miami opening. He was 93.