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EUFF 2016 Review: “Stay” (2013) ★★★


Dermot Fay is a professor in University. As he gets older, he comes to the realization that the only thing he needs from his life is the love of his life, Abbey and the calamity of the life itself he prefers to live with. However, things change quickly when he finds out about her pregnancy. However, instead of showing happiness, he demands Abbey to get rid of the baby… But she thinks otherwise…

Abbey is much younger than Dermot. She even says, “Don’t you think that I am too young to live at the end of the world?” But that’s where the viewer gets a chance to find out about Dermot’s personality. But when at the funeral he meets pregnant Deirdre McGilloway and takes part in her delivering the baby, he learns how babies can be extremely cute, and parenthood he notices is not as bad as he thought it could be.

However, while he encounters new changes in his life, Abbey leaves him to move into her father’s house. While Dermot and Abbey are apart, the defining moments of their life knocks their door in a different way. Dermot meets a young and perspective Sean, who does not want to get a college degree. However, he makes a reasonable offer to Dermot to build a fence for him. That acquaintance also significantly contributes to Dermot’s vision of life, he finds much better than he had before.

While Abbey’s character remains unchanged throughout the film, as we obviously find her not wanting to keep the baby, the main protagonist is Dermot, who the viewer is left to see. By seeing all the signs, will he change his mind or open for himself an opportunity to experience life from a whole different perspective? While he sees Sean every day and explains the importance of having an education, and helping out Deirdre with her newborn child, Dermot amazingly becomes much more likable character and a kind human being.

From the directing point of view, German filmmaker Wiebke von Carolsfeld creates a slow-moving film, where like in life itself, nothing happens fast enough. Bringing a realistic environment, cinematography and well casted actors, it’s easy to understand Abbey’s choice to chose Dermot as a man for whom she would easily leave behind the colorful life of mega cities. Aidan Quinn as Dermot and Taylor Schilling are a great match to play soulful characters, which I must say, was quite convincing.

In the end, Carolsfeld’s film does not aim to reach a high number of audience, but rather a small one that will appreciate the choices and the life Dermot and Abbey want to live. The ending of the film offered is logical, as well as the entire storyline, which is very touching. It might not be done in a sentimental way, but at the end of the day, it is better to trigger our own emotions as we watch the film rather being manipulated by the storyline and get nothing out of it.


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