If you are looking for a truly thoughtful and inspiring movie, consider the just-released film “Year By the Sea,” which is playing at the Cape Cinema in Dennis until Thursday, May 25. This profound, soulful and thought-provoking film is based on the memoirs of Cape Cod writer Joan Anderson. It tells the story of a Nyack, New York, wife and mother who, after 30 years of marriage and learning that her husband will be relocating to Kansas for his job, bravely chooses instead to move alone to a small cottage on Cape Cod for some inner time out. Karen Allen plays the part of Joan Anderson and Michael Cristofer portrays her husband in this unusual film written and directed by Alexander Janko. During her year of rediscovery in living by the sea, Joan makes new friends, finds herself in unexpected situations, and re-finds her strength and life purpose.
“Year By The Sea” was shot in 2015 in Wellfleet, Orleans, Chatham and Eastham. Scenes include the Cape’s WE CAN women’s organization, Cape Cod National Seashore and Nauset Lighthouse. It is wonderful to see the beauty of the Cape used as a background for the story, along with witnessing the incredible power of the sea as a healing source. All the actors portray characters that are just as real as the people living around us. This is truly a special film, and one that Cape Codders can be proud of.
Having moved to the Cape this year, and after reading an article about the making of the film, I was pleased to find Joan Anderson’s (New York Times Bestseller book) “Year By the Sea” at Falmouth Public Library. The story was so compelling that I couldn’t wait to see the movie version.
The film is playing in the perfect venue—the Cape Cinema in Dennis. With its vintage art house feel, historic ceiling murals and brand-new, club-style chairs, seating is intimate, welcoming and relaxing. After seeing this wonderful film, what came next was a total surprise. Being on a rushed schedule (and unaware that the author would be speaking at two of the showings), I didn’t expect to see Joan Anderson there herself, casually talking with some women in the lobby. I did have a brief chance to speak with her, and I can assure you, she is just as charismatic, lovely and sensitive as one would imagine her to be.
“Year By The Sea” will be enjoyed by both men and women, as evidenced in the audience that I saw. It is also the perfect movie to treat those special women in your life—wife, mother, aunt, or grandmother—to for Mother’s Day. We all reach difficult crossroads, and, as the film trailer states, “It’s never too late to reclaim your life.”
Cape Cinema is on Route 6A in Dennis.