|21 January 2018.|
The film was neither too long nor too boring.
Quite the contrary.
It was very engaging, but it was also challenging.
Written and directed by Elizabeth Chomko, What They Had conveys the complexities a family faces when someone is living with dementia, the most prevalent form being Alzheimer's Disease.
This 2018 film (which in the US primarily showed at film festivals, such as Sundance) focuses on one family's response to Ruth, played by Blythe Danner.
Ruth is the matriarch and former nurse whose memory problems lead to her wandering--during a snow storm--from her Chicago home, which she shares with her husband, Norbert (played by Robert Forster).
This is frightening enough when people wander in nice weather. However, Ruth has disappeared into the city during a snow storm.
This becomes a catalyst for the son, Nick, played by Michael Shannon, to put in motion a solution for his parents' age-related challenges. Nick does what he thinks is the most obvious, practical, and objective response to advanced age: place mother in an assisted living center.
Their father, Norbert, disagrees--vehemently.