starring: jane seymour, sam rechner, michael budd, and rory potter
REVIEWER: lyall carter
When a woman inadvertently burns down her house, she must move in with her daughter and granddaughter.
Ruby’s Choice, told from granddaughter Tash’s perspective, is the story of Ruby (Jane Seymour) and her battle with dementia as her mind gradually fails her. From forgetting her car at the library and taking the bus instead to the more dangerous leaving a pan on the stove which causes a fire, Ruby's life begins to change dramatically.
Although they are already under pressure to make ends meet and also with the added complication of Tash’s uncle and cousin coming to live with them as a result of his marriage breaking up, Tash’s parents decide to take in grandma Ruby. Unable to afford home care or being able to put Ruby in a home, Tash has to stay home from school to look after her grandmother.
Ruby’s Choice heart is in the right place - the filmmakers are even using a portion of the profits from the film to support dementia care. Having had a very close loved one who suffered from and passed away from dementia, this film cuts deep.
But narratively Ruby’s Choice feels at times a little too straight forward and not particularly creative in its depiction of dementia. 2020’s The Father did this brilliantly, allowing the audience to experience life from the disorientating and frightening view of a dementia sufferer. Ruby’s Choice sometimes trips over itself thematically and in its tone, often having themes that don’t quite gel.
Coco Jack Gillies is superb as Tash, giving a superb performance, with Jane Seymour giving a solid, anchoring performance that never stumbles into overacting which with this kind of role, would be an ever present temptation.
While tripping over itself narratively at times, Ruby’s Choice is more than worth the watch for the superb performances from Coco Jack Gillies and Jane Seymour.