“Never Steady, Never Still” drew my attention as soon as I saw its first official trailer. Mainly it was because of Shirley Henderson’s brief performance that allowed me to form a positive impression from Katherine Hepburn’s latest feature film that was also penned by her. After finally watching it, I still believe it was worthwhile seeing, but I am afraid, with this concept it won’t go further than festival circuit. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
It just happened that people that would appreciate slow-burning drama about a woman with Parkinson disease or her son who tries to find himself is not that many… But I guess, we all live in one home, but maybe in two as well… But enough to feel ourselves warm and welcome, isn’t it? “Never Steady, Never Still” follows Judy, a woman with Parkinson’s disease for almost two decades. As her problem with health is intensively getting worse, her son, Jamie has his own issues in search to find the right path for him to follow.
What we learn from Jamie is how he hard he wants to settle down in his personal life. Not being able to control himself emotionally, but the young man is forced to return home from his oil field work, when his father unexpectedly dies. His mother Judy, who is left alone now needs more care now than ever. But Jamie is everywhere but home. You would ask why doesn’t he be near his mother who can barely drive a car and unable to do much on her own. However, it’s easy to understand Jamie if you step into his shoes.
Jamie is too young to realize the needs and the priorities of real life. But Judy is old enough not to ask for help, as she knows if there is a little chance she can do independently, she will do that without hesitation. So she does and with little consequences. All these happen throughout the movie without much effort, which is quite amazing. But what is more astonishing is Shirley Henderson’s brilliant performance who takes the control over her body and mind to fully transform herself into a shockingly believable patient with Parkinson’s disease.
To conclude, Hepburn has delivered a decent drama that can aim only certain type of viewers. But if you’re a demanding viewer or just an action-movie admirer, then it’s safe to say you won’t sit for two hours to see two people try to cope with their current and ongoing stressful situation in my ways. But if you someone who look for a higher standards in cinema, and especially individual performances, then “Never Steady, Never Still” should be the right film for you to watch. Because with what had been targeted here, and the way the actors translated onto our silver screen, it’s an outstanding achievement, you, I am sure, will be happy to witness.