Never Steady, Never Still review – tough sledding in the snows of Alberta
This drama about a mother who has Parkinson’s and her teenage son who is struggling with his sexuality, is unsatisfying despite heartfelt momentsThis is a sincerely intended drama from Canadian writer-director Kathleen Hepburn, and it was a prizewinner on its home turf, but I have to admit to finding it tough sledding.
It is plaintive and subdued, with a dual narrative focus that is not as satisfyingly developed or resolved as it might be.Judy, played by Shirley Henderson, lives near the oilfields of Alberta and has Parkinson’s.
She has a supportive if withdrawn husband, Ed (Nicholas Campbell), though she seems also to have an emotional connection with her neighbour Lenny (Lorne Cardinal).
Judy is worried and protective about her aimless teen son Jamie (Théodore Pellerin) who, quite aside from worrying about his mother, has his own issues with sexuality and identity, and who occupies half the film’s narrative space.
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