Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Woman's Tale

Much to the consternation of a loving by self-involved son and an uncaring landlord, a sickly and gaunt elderly woman (Sheila Florance) is determined to live out her precious remaining time on her own terms: in her own flat smoking cigarettes, listening to old records, calling late-night talk show programs and offering aid to troubled callers, while comforting a neighbor afflicted with dementia (Norman Kaye) and enjoying the company of a compassionate nurse's aide (Gosia Dobrowlowska). Paul Cox's A Woman's Tale is a beautiful, austere presentation that favors platitudes and borders on imperiousness, but always seems to strike the right notes. It features a sublime and honest performance from Florance, who was ravished with cancer herself at the time of shooting, and a heartrending one from a sweetly empathetic Dobrowlowska.
*** 1/2 out of ****