Still Mine Blu-Ray Review
What’s the divorce rate in the United States? I’m glad you asked because it was something that I myself was thinking of during STILL MINE. It’s hovering right at 50%. That means when you say your vows, you’re a coin flip away from breaking it off down the line. I don’t know if movies like STILL MINE will be remembered fondly or not, but for right now, it’s a fresh reminder of what marriage is, an everlasting bond that never gives up on the lows and relishes in the highs.
In a trailer, STILL MINE was pitched to me as a small guy facing off against the bureaucrats who are telling him his plan of building his own smaller home to retire with his wife in are illegal. That he needs to abide by their rules or they’ll bring their big, scary bulldozers to knock down his carpenter dreams. That was a dose of incredibly misleading advertising. While that is a key component, you can easily create parallels with the skirmishes he has with the government with the true problem faced in this movie.
Craig Morrison (Cromwell) and his wife Irene (Bujold) reside in an aging, small farmstead. He still takes care of the chickens and cows that live off the surrounding land, but he’s starting to notice that Irene is showing signs of dementia. Their two-story home could soon become a death trap for Irene and they have to start making compromises since the stairs are becoming a deadly obstacle. They sleep in the living room and they have to do their business in a port-a-John out on the porch. The standard of living is far from ideal and Craig, who’s grown up and learned plenty about wood building techniques, begins construction on a new home. Meanwhile, their two children, dispute amongst each other if their dad is just being stubborn or actually doing the right thing.
The movie works best when Craig and Irene are in their most intimate and sensual moments. These instances highlight the previous struggles of their relationships, but not in a negative light. What should be somber recollections are instead punctuated with each one realizing the past is in the past and wrapping up the issue with a light hearted joke. It’s almost like they’re still putting building blocks into their marriage and use the pitfalls of their relationship as a positive.
As for the home Craig is building, it’s more than just a home for Irene to comfortably live out the rest of her days. Each individual piece of lumber, every screw, nail and drop of sweat that goes into the home represents the marriage he’s spent decades piecing together. The finished home is almost a testament to his love for Irene and how much he has put in (and continues to put in) to this long lasting marriage. He’s not really fighting an oppressive government or the deceitful speech from his relatives and townspeople; he’s fighting to keep Irene with him. Not just for his final days, but for her final days.
There’s a deep visual fondness seen throughout the movie between Craig and Irene, making her illness that much more depressing as it worsens. I don’t think the warmth felt in this movie would have been as strong without Cromwell and Bujold. These two turn a simple tale into something more profound and powerful that speaks to anyone with heart. As a movie, this is a must see. As a blu-ray, it is definitely avoidable. Without a single special feature, this would be the equivalent of overpaying for a rental. So just stick to renting this endearing movie. Maybe if that divorce rate keeps up, touching movies like this will seem like a fairy tale.
STILL MINE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:85:1) Great presentation. The HD definitely brings out the countryside and neutral feeling of the moments they’re in a city or suburban structure.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HDMA) The audio is mixed well. Even when the actors are required to yell, the vocals never become overbearing and the silent talking feels level.