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Still Alice

Still Alice: Moore Stuns in Moving Drama

  • Alec BaldwinHunter Parrish...
  • Drama
  • ريتشارد جلايتزرواش ويسترمورلاند
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Still Alice: Moore Stuns in Moving Drama

Formidable, heartfelt and elegant are just a few words one can use to describe Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance as woman coming to grips with Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. Based on Lisa Genova’s novel of the same name, the devastating truths behind this silent yet deadly disease are passionately explored by the writing-directing duo Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, whose uncomplicated and honest portrayal provides the story with plenty of grace and power.

As a highly successful and respected professor of linguistics at Columbia University, the fifty year old Dr. Alice Howland (Moore) has always held a high regard for communication and the intricate workings of the human mind. There are only two things in life that she treasures the most; her sense of intellect – a part of herself that is constantly fed – and her husband, John (Baldwin), and their three children, Anna (Bosworth), Tom (Parrish) and Lydia (Stewart).

During a visit for a lecture, Alice soon begins to notice signs of memory loss after words fail her during her speech. A series of memory tests soon confirm the worst; a particularly rare Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease with a genetic component, meaning her kids might have it, too.   

Eating away at her one small bite at a time, Alice is determined not to let her disease erase everything she holds dear. However, as she descends further and further into her own absent-mind there is nothing anyone can do except sit and watch her disappear.

Still Alice’s story is straightforward, refreshingly honest and doesn’t play on sympathy in its approach to the lead character’s personal sense of shame and indignity as she falls further and further away from everything that has helped shape her into what she is today. Moore’s towering performance – a sublime and authentic one at that – carries the film and watching her confront this alienating illness is touching and heartbreaking.

It’s by no means a perfect film and its shortcomings, if you can even really call them that, come in the shape of the two-dimensionality of the other characters; Baldwin is a little plain as the caring but overly passive husband and Stewart is her emotionless self as the rebellious black sheep of the family.

However, whatever their weaknesses may be, the focus is on Moore and her riveting and beautifully-layered performance which ultimately, makes Still Alice a grand and striking drama.

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Co-director Richard Glatzer also suffers from a similarly harrowing disease, ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – and, as a result, can't speak. He directed the film using a text-to-speech app on an iPad and both Moore and Stewart dedicated their "Ice Bucket Challenge" to the director. 

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