Sarah Polley is having a kickass month as her debut directorial feature, Away From Her, racks up the accolades. On Sunday, the Los Angeles film critics gave Polley a New Generation Award for up-and-coming directors. Then, on Monday, the New York film critics felt Away From Her was 2007’s Best First Film. In addition, earlier this month Polley was named one of the “50 Smartest People in Hollywood” by Entertainment Weekly. She’s the youngest person on the list at age 28 and one of the few Canadians. (Titanic director James Cameron and former eBay president-turned-film producer Jeff Skoll also made the list.)
Away From Her is an adaptation of Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over The Mountain.” The story involves an elderly couple, Grant and Fiona, who are torn apart when Fiona develops Alzheimer’s and during treatment forgets Grant and falls for another man. Polley’s smart, mature take on the story received universal critical acclaim when it was released last May, but the film grossed less than $5 million in North America (and got trampled on by the bloat-fest Spiderman 3). Hopefully the critical attention will get people to check out the film on DVD. Sarah Polley will next be seen back in front of the camera as First Daughter Abigail “Nabby” Adams in the HBO television miniseries John Adams.
Photo from the Away From Her website.