The Stone Angel
In the Stone Angel (2007), Ellen Burstyn plays the role of Hagar, an aging Manitoban matriarch whose life is soon coming to its end. She is joined by Dylan Baker and Sheila McCarthy, who play the roles of Marvin and Doris respectively, who play her son and daughter in an alternate version of her life, which she imagines while laying on her deathbed. In Hagar's true reality, her stillborn children were unable to experience the joys and sorrows of life with Hagar. Burstyn's last days in the "true" reality are spent in virtual solitude, with only occasional visits from nurses and orderlies who spend only the briefest of moments with Hagar. In the alternate reality, Marvin and Doris describe to Hagar the horrible treatment they experienced in a distant Tasmanian boarding school, which the children attended after Hagar's home was accidentally destroyed by a fire started by Dylan's science fair project. In this reality, which Hagar alternates between in her mind, Hagar asks Doris and Marvin for their forgiveness for the wrongs they suffered in her absence. The film then takes an unexpected turn as the separation between the two realities begins to fall away, and is replaced by a sequence of strange, illogical events which begin to characterize this stage of the film. The orderlies, played by the same actors as Hagar's children, hold a mock election every decade for the next patient to ascend into the Kingdom of the Stone Angels, the gargoyles surrounding the roof line of the turn-of-the-century hospital. Hagar is then faced with the dilemma of orchestrating her victory and succeeds by using subterfuge and back-room dealings to convince the other patients of the necessity of her Ascension. Marvin, Doris, and Hagar then begin their transformation and ascend to the roof after leaping from the hospital's window. The film ends with as long shot of the faces of the Stone Angels, which are revealed to be Hagar, Marvin and Doris.