WORDS: JANAIS VAN ECK
You’re Not You (2014), written by Shana Feste and directed by George C. Wolfe, is a touching film that moved me greatly to appreciate the value life and those part of it. Hilary Swank acts incredibly convincingly as Kate, a classical pianist diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Her struggles through this disease and a fading marriage with Evan (Josh Duhamel) are shared with Bec (Emmy Rossum), an impetuous and self-assertive college student employed as her caregiver.
This fantastic movie follows the bond that grows between a sophisticated, headstrong women and her spontaneous, irresponsible assistant. The two characters begin to act as the others’ support and their personalities rub off on each other. The film shows us that life is measured in the moments that leave you breathless. The words from Charles Dickens come to mind, “No one is useless who lightens the burden of anyone else”, as Bec aims to do something in the world for someone other than herself.
Watching Kate battle with ALS and how Bec slowly but surely becomes not only her hands but also her voice is a powerful bond to witness. What began as a challenging and risky employment grows into a heart wrenching friendship that one cannot help but be emotionally invested in. While some scenes in the film may be overworked and possibly unlikely, the superb performance from Swank and Rossum bring great life and emotion into this endearing, at times funny, beautiful film.