Details from IMDB:
I've built up a bunch of promo codes with Cineplex and while this is a movie I actually wanted to see, if it wasn't for the free digital movies I may not have. The fact that it had Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland and is (partially) about Ernest Hemingway, I knew I would enjoy it.
I'll say right away while this may be classed as a comedy (and there are some really funny parts), it is a sad movie about life's decline, acceptance of your limitations and ultimately about having your death on your own terms.
Sutherland and Mirren are fantastic, I really think one (if not both) of them should have won an Oscar for this. Sutherland plays ageing, a long-retired English professor who is not doing well, I'm not sure if was dementia, or Alzheimer's (they are closely related) but it's sad to watch even though I know it's acting. To be honest I found the movie hard to watch just because losing control of my mind/memories/emotions/bodily functions is a big fear of mine.
Mirren's character is also not well, she's dying of cancer and the film is about one last trip so that he can see Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West before he dies. He is obsessed with Hemingway and constantly quoting from "The Old Man and the Sea" (one of Hemingway's best books), though he is often unable to finish the quotes due to memory loss. They spend a lot of time looking at old photos and remembering the good times but due to his memory issues, she discovers that he cheated on her many years ago and she has to forgive him once more.
Oh, I should say I'm spoiling this movie, that's all the warning I'll give. For them just getting from their house to Key West is a difficult journey (they had to keep it a secret from their kids and just take off in the morning). They are almost robbed, break down, he leaves her behind at a gas station, the RV breaks down and both of their health gets continually worse until she is admitted to hospital.
It's a movie about love, forgiveness and the meaning of life. What would you do when you knew you were never going to get better? How bad would your quality of life have to get before you wanted to die? Ultimately she decides (after he asks her to help him die) that she can't let him end up in an old age home alone and they should both die together.
I totally agree with her, if you've lived a long life/and/or know you'll never get better, it should be your choice when to do die. She comes up with a way to do it that lets them die in their sleep and it's a sad, yet beautiful scene.
This movie is a slower-paced one so I can see why a lot of people won't like it. It's also quite depressing and doesn't have a happy ending but it's like life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but ultimately we all have to accept when our time is done. It's a beautiful movie that I loved and I give it a solid 8.5 out of 10. Please don't let children watch this, this is some sex, coarse language and mature subject matter, ages 17+. If you don't mind I serious movie with sad parts, I would highly recommend it.