Still Alice is a gripping emotional drama about a character that is diagnosed with an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This illness inflicts somewhere around 5mn Americans, and the movie aims to focus on that subject of how difficult life is for these patients.
Because it affects so many people, there is a greater risk of not being in the know about the disease than is perhaps for some lesser known illnesses and as society progresses, this illness has decided to progress further afield too. Julianne Moore plays a talented linguistics professor, whose life has been brought to a standstill following a diagnosis because she has lost hold of both her identity and factual information on her personal life.
Standing out in a film littered with big names, such as Alec Baldwin, and numerous other starry performers, like Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth, is a challenge no matter her acting credentials. The starry cast act as Alice Howland’s (Moore) supporting pillars of strength during what turns out to be a trying time in her academic career – she is a 50-year old NYC native. She has lost touch with the talent that brought her far academically, the precision communication she needs as a linguistics professor. At Columbia, fear over her certain frightening reality even sees a medical trip to the doctor, and she hides the illness, in the beginning, but later her husband finds out about it at a dinner party.
Her family begins to disintegrate as the disease gets worse because it is deemed hereditary, and there is role-reversal in the family. This is really a film about Alice and how she triumphs, against all odds, to come to term with a new stationed subject in her life: Alzheimer’s disease, and how to continue teaching.
Film rating: 8/10.