Title – Still Alice (2014)
Directors – Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (The Last of Robin Hood)
Cast – Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish
Plot – When 50 year old Professor Alice Howland (Moore) is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease she finds comfort like never before in the strength of her husband John (Baldwin) and children, including wannabe actress Lydia (Stewart).
“There’s no peace in being unsure of everything all the time”
Review by Eddie on 9/09/2015
One of the more affecting and realistic films made about Alzheimer’s disease that I can recall, Still Alice is an emotionally charged drama that deserves the plaudits it received upon initial release and features the always consistent Julianne Moore at her most quietly powerful best.
Directed by duo Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Still Alice was an extremely personnel film for the two as Glatzer was a victim of ALS, co-directing this film via an Ipad due to not being able to speak. In the time since Still Alice’s release in cinemas Glatzer has sadly passed away but Still Alice will always be his lasting legacy on the way in which these horrible diseases affect all humans, no matter their circumstances. The direction of Alice is a real highlight of the films production and never does the story surrounding Professor Howland feel overly manipulative or played for cheap tears, every aspect whether sad or joyous feels real and thought out, a carefully constructed journey to the deepest recesses of the human minds failings that the cast nails to perfection.
The recipient of the Best Actress Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony it’s not hard to see why Moore was the only sure fire win of the night with her turn as Alice Howland. Moore is likeable, affable and most importantly someone we feel for and after many years of quality works Still Alice feels like the perfect reward for her both in a ceremonies sense but also a role sense. After watching Still Alice it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role and it’s a credit to Moore that she nails some tricky material in the way in which she does, try not to be moved by Moore’s delivery of a speech Alice makes to fellow disease victims. Surrounded by quality supports in Alec Baldwin and the thankfully non lip biting Kristen Stewart, Still Alice has a fine array of acting turns that help elevate the affecting material above the normal TV like disease/sickness movies that often flood the marketplace.
Made with a heart and soul that can only come from personnel experiences, Still Alice is a finely tuned drama that features one of recent history’s most fully formed female lead roles. While there are some moments and subplots that feel slightly out of place and some small moments of unneeded mawkishness, Still Alice is quality filmmaking that only the most stone hearted of viewers wouldn’t be affected by.
4 dropped speeches out of 5