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Monday, February 02, 2015

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Still Alice

StillAliceJulianne Moore plays a 50 year old woman suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease in the drama Still Alice.  Alice Howland (Moore) is an esteemed linguistics professor at Columbia University, who has recently celebrated her 50th birthday.  Alice begins to forget small details about her life and decides to get tested by a neurologist, where it is revealed that she has a rare genetic form of early onset Alzheimer's disease.  With the support of her husband John (Alec Baldwin) and children Anna (Kate Bosworth), Tom (Hunter Parrish), and Lydia (Kristen Stewart), Alice learns to cope with this condition, as her memories begin to fade away.

Still Alice is a drama that is adapted from the 2007 novel by Lisa Genova.  Out of all the various types of neurological diseases, Alzheimer's is quite likely one of the most tough to cope with.  There is nothing worse for an individual than having a lifetime’s worth of memories fade away.  It is presumably worse for someone with early onset Alzheimer's, since getting this disease at a young age would be particularly frustrating for both the individual and their family.

Julianne Moore is indeed quite good in her lead performance as Alice, as she struggles to cope with having Alzheimer's.  Alice develops a system to help her cope with her memory loss, which includes scheduling reminders on her phone and quizzing herself about details of her life.  However, the Alzheimer's gets worse for Alice at a surprisingly fast rate, which becomes a major struggle for both her and her family.

Still Alice also focuses on the mother-daughter relationship between Alice and her youngest daughter Lydia.  The two became somewhat distant, as Lydia moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of acting, which Alice does not consider to be a real career.  However, the two end up becoming closer to each other, in the wake of Alice’s condition.  I have to say that I was somewhat impressed by Kristen Stewart’s role in the film, with her finally starting to shake the stigma that became attached to her in relation to the Twilight films.  With Kristen Stewart impressing her her earlier roles, such as 2007’s Into the Wild, it will be interesting to see how her career progresses from this point forward.

Altogether, Still Alice is a decent enough drama, with a pretty great lead performance by Julianne Moore.  That said, I did feel that the story did start to waver a bit in the third act, which seemed all about greatly emphasizing how very sad this situation is.  However, the film is still worth checking out.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).