The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence is a classic Canadian novel, and nothing short of a great film would do it justice. Director Kari Skogland brings the vivid heroine Hagar Shipley to life in this work, the Canadian Images Opening Film at the 26th Vancouver International Film Festival in 2007. The veteran actress Ellen Burstyn is utterly convincing as the aging Hagar, who battles to stay in her own home even though she’s become a burden on the younger generation. In flashbacks, Christine Horne plays the fiery young Hagar who defies her straitlaced family and lives with the consequences of an ill-advised marriage. Hagar learns to live with disappointment, accepting that life seldom turns out as we expect when we’re young. The film is a subtle meditation on Prairie social life and taboos in the mid-twentieth century. It’s also a complex and funny story about the difficult reversal of roles when parents need to be cared for by their grown children.