Watch Never Steady, Never Still
- 1 hr 52 min
Judy and her husband Ed live with their 18 year-old son Jamie in a remote, isolated community at the edge of Stuart Lake. Judy has suffered from Parkinson's Disease for 19 of the 23 years she and Ed have been married, with Ed acting as her supportive carer, helping her to complete basic tasks such as getting dressed and taking her medication. Despite her illness, Judy attempts to lead a normal life by attending a Parkinson's support group each week to help manage her disease. Jamie spends most of his time hanging out with his best friend Danny, smoking and playing hockey. When Danny moves away for college, Jamie finds himself at a loose end, struggling to fully deal with the enormity of his mother's illness and feeling left behind as Danny's phone calls become more sporadic. Ed convinces Jamie to get a job in the Alberta oil fields.
Jamie finds it difficult to fit in with his overly macho, co-workers and the testosterone-fuelled environment they create by frequently discuss topics that make him uncomfortable such as sex and violence and relentlessly bullying him. He struggles with his sexuality and briefly fantasises about kissing Danny. After returning from her support group one day, Judy finds Ed face down in the water having suffered a fatal heart attack. Jamie returns for the funeral and offers to move back home in order to look after Judy but she refuses, telling him he has to go and live his life. When she asks if he enjoys his job, he lies. Without Ed, Judy begins to find daily life more and more challenging but fiercely battles to remain independent. She often wakes up early in the morning and goes to sit in the lake where Ed drowned as a way to try and maintain their connection and feel close to him. While shopping in town, the cashier, a pregnant 17 year-old girl named Kaly, tells her that the store operates a home delivery service should she require it. Judy is pulled over when driving home because she is driving erratically and the sheriff assumes that she is drunk but, after explaining that she just needs to take her pills, he advises her that it is probably best she not drive at all unless absolutely necessary. As winter intensifies, making tasks such as chopping firewood even more difficult, Judy decides to call Kaly and have her deliver the groceries. Kaly begins to act as a companion for Judy who, in turn provides her with advice about her impending motherhood.
The death of his father causes Jamie to spiral and he develops a cocaine addiction after stealing some from his co-worker Daryl. He pays a female prostitute to give him oral sex but he does not enjoy it, he destroys his car windshield in a fit of rage. When Daryl chastises him for working too slow, Jamie lashes out and punches him. The two men get into a fight but Daryl is blamed and their boss tells Jamie that he is free to continue working as long as he passes a drug test. Jamie refuses to take the test, quits his job and returns home where he meets Kaly during one of her deliveries. Judy asks Jamie to pick up her pills and, while in town, he visits Kaly at work and asks her about her baby's father. She explains that he has broken all contact and she thinks he is scared. Although initially resistant, Jamie persuades her to meet him after her shift. Kaly asks about Judy and Jamie explains that, when he was younger, touching her hand would make her stop shaking which lead him to believe that her Parkinson's could be "turned off". He confesses that he finds it difficult to see her slowly deteriorate knowing that there is no chance she will get better. He then asks Kaly if she has ever been with another girl before confessing that he is confused and has thought about being with Danny. She kisses him and the two have a sexual encounter in his car. Afterwards, Kaly asks if he enjoyed it and he tells her that he did.
Jamie drives home and finds all of the lights turned off. Judy calls to him from the bathroom and he finds her lying in freezing cold water, unable to get out because she hasn't taken her pills. He carries her to her bed and helps her get dressed before breaking down in tears. He apologises for not bringing her medication sooner but she tells him not to worry. She then apologises to him, saying that she should be the one supporting him as opposed to the other way around. They embrace and promise to be there for one another. The next morning, Judy wakes up early and makes her way to the centre of the now-frozen lake where she sits down and talks to Ed, wishing him a Merry Christmas.
Never Steady, Never Still is a 2018 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 70.