A Different Bucket List
Life was good for Moira (Jill Clayburgh - Silver Streak) and Stuart Browning (Tom Skerritt - The Parent Trap II), they were happily married with two children and she had beaten cancer 5 years earlier. But then they received the bad news, Moira's cancer had returned and this time it was terminal. Left reeling by the news Moira picks herself up and starts planning for her family's future without her, not easy when her daughter can't accept that she is dying whilst also trying to find Stuart a new wife for when she is gone made all the more complicated by struggling with the feelings of him being happy with out her. All of which Moira tries to do whilst dealing with her declining health and keeping her art gallery running.
Over the past few months I have found myself somehow having watched a fair few movies which deal with life's illnesses from Parkinson's disease to cancer and whilst they often have similarities they also tend to bring something unique to the picture. I expected to have the same from "Miles to Go..." a late 80s movie which deals with the subject of a mother dying from cancer as it is one of those movies where the person who is dying tries to prepare the family in everyway for when they are gone. But whilst there is that side of things it is also a much more rounded movie than I expected with lots of subtle detail to make it feel like a movie written with thought rather than just trying to play with your emotions.
So okay as I said part of the movie is about Moira trying to plan life for her family once she is gone because she feels a need to know they will be okay. But this leads to a variety of issues starting with her teenager daughter going in to denial over her mother's prognosis whilst Moira starts to have moments of depression when she thinks of her family being happy after she is gone. There are also the complications surrounding Moira deciding to try and arrange a new wife for her husband for after she is gone.
It is the detail, the subtle moments which reflect issues which make "Miles to Go..." work as when it comes to the cancer side of the movie it is not the most authentic. It does show some of the medical side of things as part of the story focuses on Moira's failing health with so much to do and so little time to do it in but in more recent years there have been much more realistic movies which highlight things such as the sickness from radiation therapy.
As for the performances well Jill Clayburgh who sadly passed away from leukaemia in 2010 delivers an interesting performance which takes a little time to get use to. What I mean by that is that as Moira she often drops wise cracks which to start with feel forced and out of place although you come to take them as part of her characters defence mechanism, her way of dealing with troubles. But whilst initially a struggle it is a commanding performance with those around her including Tom Skerritt very much supporting actors.
What this all boils down to is that "Miles to Go..." has issues, many of which come from it being a product of the 80s. But at the same time it has a much more rounded approach to what feels a familiar story and it is the moments of depth which make the movie.