June Again is a pretty good movie that’s headlined by the first excellent performance of the year.
Noni Hazlehurst (Truth) plays the titular June, an older mom who is often lost in her own head as she unknowingly wrestles with her severe dementia. Just as the illness was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film The Father, June’s past and present overlap, creating a constant disconnect from her own reality. Then one day, without batting an eye, she has an extended moment of lucid clarity. June escapes her residence and puts effort into touching base with her family. Conflicted emotions arise as her loved ones are grateful yet concerned, while June directs her happy-go-lucky “joie de vivre” towards tracking down a special someone.
June Again is an effective character study that teeters on artificial sentiment with how quirky some of the humour is. But writer/director JJ Winlove pushes against those apprehensions to deliver a movie that eventually finds the story’s heartfelt core through the family’s dynamic. The exchanges are moving, but can also be very amusing.
Though members of June’s family share the spotlight, Hazlehurst steals the movie with confidence and courageousness, giving viewers a fascinating perspective of someone who is very opinionated and passionate – even during times of masked doubt.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie