Poster

Still Alice is a heartbreaking story about a renowned linguistics professor at Columbia University who discovers she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. If you’ve had family or friends with Alzheimer’s disease, this movie might be a difficult watch. Still Alice is a heavy drama that aims to give the audience a glimpse of what it is like to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and the impact it also has on family.

Julianne Moore will win Best Actress at the Oscars for her portrayal of Alice. This is a truly great performance, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone familiar with Julianne Moore’s career. Has she ever sucked in anything? Boogie Nights doesn’t count—I’m not talking about that kind of sucking. Julianne Moore is the best working actress and she should be more appreciated for her incredible range.

From start to finish, Julianne Moore shows you the progression of this terrible disease as it takes a toll on her personal and professional life. As a linguistics professor, Alice’s identity is her brain and handle on language. You experience the transformation as Alice is not so slowly losing her mind.

Nothing in Alice’s life is staying the same—not even her family.

Tear

The supporting cast is decent, but no one else will be remembered for this movie. Alec Baldwin is the best you can hope for as Alice’s husband who is struggling with how to live his life while still care for his wife. Unfortunately, their children are just dreadful. Kate Bosworth is completely forgettable as Alice’s oldest daughter and Hunter Parrish (only known as Silas from the TV show Weeds) is just sort of there. Kristen Stewart is hit-and-miss as Alice’s youngest daughter who dreams of becoming an actress.

To the detriment of the movie overall and its story, Still Alice mostly uses the family members as objects in the background (albeit playing important parts at times) rather than bringing them to the forefront. Only Kristen Stewart really gets a significant opportunity to develop a more dimensional character than her bland siblings. Alec Baldwin’s character has more depth because of his acting ability.

Still, Alice is the focus even though everything is going out of focus from her perspective.

Julianne Moore

Still Alice is a very depressing movie. This isn’t a fantasy, things don’t just get better because you want it to go back to normal. It’s real life. You or someone you love will struggle through a similar experience regardless of the affliction. Still Alice provides insight specifically on Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s a universal experience we all will inevitably face—especially with the prevalence of cancer. We all go through it and survive in our own ways. Still Alice is a good movie, but the story is unremarkable without Julianne Moore’s extraordinary performance. While this is likely the seminal movie on Alzheimer’s disease, I feel doomed to forget nearly everything except my love of Julianne Moore.

Forgetful

3 out of 5 stars

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