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TIFF 2017: ‘Never Steady, Never Still’

By: Jessica Goddard

Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still is a serious, greyscale, dragging meditation on subjects so inherently sombre, it’s practically masochistic to sit through the whole film without allowing yourself a break.

Judy (Shirley Henderson) has rapidly advancing Parkinson’s that is so debilitating she can barely perform daily tasks for herself.  Her son Jamie (Théodore Pellerin) goes to work on an oil field in the dead of winter where he questions his sexuality and acts out because he doesn’t seem to know what else to do.

The entire film is really building up to the last half hour, which features some great scenes with good payoff.  Never Steady, Never Still is going for cerebral and deservedly devastating, but tends to feel draining and manipulative.  With shots that go on needlessly long and characters whose depth only goes far enough to earn our pity, this film is ultimately alright but pretty forgettable.

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For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

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