Vernon Film Society screens profound family drama

What They Had screens Jan. 16 at Galaxy Cinemas

Linda Wills/Special to The Morning Star

The Vernon Film Society will screen their second feature of 2019 on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Galaxy Cinemas.

First-time writer and director Elizabeth Chomko’s film What They Had zooms in on one Chicago family whose commitments to one another become frayed when the matriarch is overtaken by Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes sound bodies and minds have ways of deteriorating over time, and the onset of a debilitating illness can test a couple’s commitment. Toss in grown children, friends and other family members, and the problems grow exponentially.

What They Had has a lived-in ring of truth that will be instantly recognizable to any caregiver, spouse, child, or other loved one who has experienced similar issues. Chomko developed her script (an Academy Nicholls Fellowship-winner) from personal experience, which makes many of the story’s details seem honest and precise. What distinguishes this film from many others with similar issues are the authentic and believable performances of the principal characters.

The movie’s precipitating crisis occurs in the opening sequence as Ruth (Blythe Danner) rises from her bed and ventures out into the falling snow. We learn later that she suffers from Alzheimer’s and the condition is worsening, although her devoted husband Burt (Robert Forster) won’t relinquish her care to others while steadfastly denying the true depth of Ruth’s mental decay. Daughter Bridget (Hilary Swank), a Los Angeles chef with her own marital woes, arrives with her teenage daughter Emma (Taissa Farmiga) to assess the deteriorating situation. Nicky (Michael Shannon), the sibling who stayed home, bears the brunt of caring for his parents and the strain is adversely affecting him.

For anyone who has lived, loved, suffered, and grown within a family, What They Had offers many rewards.

What They Had screens at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p..m on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Galaxy Cinemas. Tickets are available one week in advance at the Bean Scene for $7. Cash only. Rated PG.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon celebrates stay at home heroes

Stickers and colouring sheets created for those isolating

Vernon Honda dealership gifting 2 cars to families hit by COVID-19

Two-month online nomination period will decide the recipients of two previously-owned cars

COVID-19: ‘This is going to go on for a while,’ Vernon mayor says

City council gives kudos to public, businesses and city staff for response to pandemic

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Culvert replacement project starts in Spallumcheen

Meighan Creek project began Wednesday off Powerhouse Road

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Okanagan College student designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

Sean Heddle says fighting complacency and misinformation is important

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

Most Read