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Still Alice – Movie Review – V2.0

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Still Alice – Movie Review by Frank L.
Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Writers: Lisa Genova (novel), Richard Glatzer (screenplay)
Stars:Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart

Alice Rowland (Julianne Moore) is at the top of her career as an internationally esteemed professor of linguistics at Columbia University, NY, happily married and the mother of three grown-up children. She has it all. However she begins to notice on occasions her inability, out of the blue, to find the right word. She seeks to find out the reason. The answer is incipient Alzheimers. What the film depicts is not only the consequences for Alice of this diagnosis but how her diagnosis alters the lives of her family too.

Throughout Julianne Moore gives a flawless performance as Alice and deservedly won the Oscar for best actress. It is a performance of an actor who is entirely in control and confident of the achingly difficult part she must play. There is no sloppy sentiment just her facing the incomprehensible fact that she is slowly losing her ability to communicate, the very essence of her existence. The loneliness, the fear and the everyday humiliations permeate her attempts to keep going as her options narrow.

Her husband (Alec Baldwin), her two daughters (Kate Bosworth,Kristen Stewart), her son (Humber Parrish) and her son-in-law (Shane McCrae) each have a different reaction to her plight and indirectly their plight and they make up a strong supporting cast. There are rows between them but they too must face the reality of how their individual worlds have changed. It is this aspect of the film which creates the scorching of the earth for all of them as each tries to help Alice in her doomed struggle with the disease. But it’s Alice’s struggle which is paramount.

Apart from bringing to Julianne Moore a deserved Oscar, it is to be hoped that Still Alice will raise the awareness of all of us to the daunting challenges that those nearest to those afflicted with the disease endure twenty four hours a day… there is not let up. Alzheimers is still talked about, at best, in hushed and somewhat embarrassed tones. Still Alice is a great chance for all us to learn to communicate with each other more knowledgably about Alzheimers and its consequences. Notwithstanding the serious and didactic nature of its story, this is an uplifting film.

 

 

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