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September 7, 2017

TIFF 2017: ‘Never Steady, Never Still’ Review


Ben Scanga / Get Reel Movies

The premise of Kathleen Hepburn’s directorial debut is fairly straight forward – A widowed-mother attempts to cope with Parkinson’s disease while her teenage son comes of age. At first glance, it may seem like any other melodrama but as the narrative delves deeper into our characters, the overall haunting tone of the film it slowly transforms it into something more. The film travels deeper and deeper into your gut and soul, forcing you to keep thinking about it for weeks (maybe even months) to come.

Shirley Henderson is revolutionary here, delivering a silently heartbreaking performance that sadly won’t be recognized during awards season, but should be witnessed by everyone. Her realistic portrayal of the disease makes this performance even more groundbreaking. Let us also not forget TIFF’s rising star, Théodore Pellerin, who delivers a performance that is subtly perfect. He may seem like a third-wheel to the whole narrative, but his coming-of-age story about sexual confusion is one that is more precious and impactful than quite a lot of anything else we have seen so far this year.

Ultimately, Never Steady, Never Still falls into the little-known sub genre of “people talk, nothing happens”. It’s a genre of hidden gems and festival hits that never really get the mainstream attention they deserve. Hopefully, this one will be selling out venues and gaining standing ovations due to how incredibly moving it is. It’s a story about people just trying to do what they think is right and I loved it.

Rating: 8/10

Public Screenings: Sept 9 12:45 pm, Sept 11 9:15 pm