Kathy (Anastasia Phillips) has always been taking care of her alcoholic mother Tammy (Felicity Huffman). She is constantly cleaning-up after her and literally talking her off the ledge of a train platform. But when Tammy gets diagnosed with cancer, Kathy must decide if she is going to continue assisting Tammy or move on completely.
In only her second Feature film, Amy Jo Johnson has given us a riveting depiction of the cycle of abuse and the long-term trauma it leaves behind. The Film runs 85-minutes long, and Johnson uses every single second to compose a very gritty and very real experience that lingers long after the credits. The strong direction extends into excellent work from both Phillips and Huffman, who practically light-up the screen. The Supporting Cast is wonderful as well, but they cannot even dream of competing with these two powerhouse talents. While the emotional catharsis of the ending was lost on me, the Film’s only other real stumbling block is a goofy subplot involving a trashy talk show. It aims to add some layer of satire, but ends up being a distraction that takes away valuable time watching Phillips and Huffman soar.
TAMMY’S ALWAYS DYING screens during TIFF at the following times:
Thursday September 5, 6:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre [World Premiere]
Sunday September 8, 7:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre
Saturday September 14, 1:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre