Film explores what’s best for an ill spouse

Film explores what’s best for an ill spouse

“What They Had,” a movie starring Hilary Swank in a dramatic exploration of what is best for an ailing spouse, will be shown free on April 13 at Grand Cinema in Tacoma as part of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources’ film series about caregiving.

Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. at the theater, which is located at 606 Fawcett Ave., followed by the screening at 10:45. Free tickets must be obtained in advance from Aging and Disability Resources, a county program, at or 253-798-4600.

In the 2018 release “What They Had,” Swank portrays a daughter who returns home. Blythe Danner plays her mother, who is suffering memory loss, and Robert Forster is in the role of Danner’s husband, whose promise to her to keep her at home is being tested. The family is in crisis as progression of the disease and the need for care reaches a tipping point. 

The film is rated R for language, including a brief sexual reference.

“Most caregivers are incredibly dedicated,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. “But that dedication can sometimes cloud good judgement. Things change and different levels of care are needed. It can be challenging to see those changes and adjust expectations and assurances that were made earlier.”