Still Alice…

photo:usnews.com
photo:usnews.com

The hoopla has died down. Awards season is behind us, but I am still catching up.

We saw, Still Alice the other day and it was superb. I cried me a river.

Julianne Moore won the Oscar for Best Actress which she deserved for her incredibly nuanced performance. The movie as a whole was overlooked…Alice still should be revisited as a complete entity.

Still Alice is based on the novel by neuroscientist, Lisa Genova. Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland direct. They are also life partners. Glatzer has been diagnosed with ALS, another debilitating disease. They directed the film with a deft, compassionate hand and realistically represented the disease from the afflicted’s point of view.

The cast was wonderful. The movie made me look at the disease with a new pair of spectacles. Alzheimer’s has cruelly stricken so many with no known cure.

for Alice, there was shame related to the diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. At one point, Alice blurbs out that she wishes she had cancer instead.

For days after seeing Still Alice I tested my memory skills…John Black 42 Washington Street Hoboken repeatedly  pops up in my mind. See the movie and you will understand.

Alice’s progression from a smart, clever and talented linguistic’s professor at Columbia University to a shadow of her former self was heart rendering.

photo:blackfilm.com
photo:blackfilm.com

 Her relationship with her daughter Lydia (Kristen Stewart) is very touching and real. Alice’s husband, played by Alec Baldwin, made me cringe. Initially, he was supportive and sympathetic then he was all male…get to the bottom line and practically move forward.

photo:dailymail.uk.co
photo:dailymail.uk.co

Cliche or not, it is astounding how quickly life can chance at a moment’s notice. Maybe that’s why I have such trepidation when heading to a doctor’s appointment or when I get on a plane. The loss of control is a compelling issue.

Critics have questioned Alice’s financial security, implying that it is easier to deal with Alzheimer’s when you are financially secure. How ridiculous. Yes, perhaps you can hire an aide to be made more comfortable or are able to be confined to a nicer facility, but rich or poor, Alzheimer’s treats all its victims the same.

photo:sctimes.com
photo:sctimes.com

It was very difficult to watch the light of recognition dwindle from Moore’s eyes, yet the poignancy and the power of the movie is never diminished.

Go see this important film. Appreciate every day. No one wakes up believing that this might be their last day or that they will be handed a death sentence.

Still Alice is a necessary dose of realism with a superb performance by Julianne Moore.

Note: By the way, if you do live in Los Angeles, the Landmark Theatre in the Westside Pavilion is the best place for movie watching. The theaters have reserve seating, are always immaculate, validate parking and sell gourmet, health conscious snacks as well as having a wine bar on premises. I love when the ushers get up close and personal, introducing the film and requesting that cell phones are turned off.  Several auditoriums at the theatre are ‘screening lounges’ so you can enjoy a film from the comfort of love seats.

Landmark Screening Lounge
Landmark Screening Lounge

Still Alice Running time 1 hour 39 minutes. Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Cast: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish, Shane McRae.

2 Comments

  1. We have scheduled a family viewing of the film this weekend, so I was pleased to read your review. As we watch my mother-in-law’s declining function, it is increasingly important that we are reminded about compassion and coping strategies. One daughter suggested that we plan to pet a bunny or something like that afterwards!

  2. The book was heart wrenching too. Another “must see” is “The Hunting Ground” about college rape. Or maybe it’s time to review some Comedy venues?!

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