Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Still Alice

Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth,
Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart

Alzheimer's Disease is a debilitating condition not only for the victim but I believe more so for their family members whose hearts break as they helplessly watch the lively, bright person slowly fade away.

Julianne Moore manifests these fears and apprehensions in her role as Alice Howland, a brilliant linguistics professor married and with three grown children, who is diagnosed with an early onset of Alzheimer's.  At first, it seemed like a case of being forgetful until she seeks medical help and her doctor gives her the bad news.  

As there is still no cure, Alice must prepare herself as well as her family members for the long term care required as she faces the uncertainty in her frightening journey.

The supporting cast here plays a minor role as Julianne Moore carried the entire weight of the film on her able shoulders. She delivers a fine performance without resorting to hysterical and over dramatic antics just to convey the uneasiness felt by her character. She is mostly calm and composed although her eyes do project the quiet sense of panic that overcomes her as the disease progresses and she is unable to make sense of it.

It is quite poignant as Alice records a video of herself giving instructions on what to do, where to find her medicines as she knows there will come a time when she won't be in total control of her senses.

"Still Alice" could easily have taken the movie-of-the-week approach with melodramatic sequences filled with tears flowing down your cheeks and a heavy heart as you watch the character deteriorate but gratefully it didn't. 

A fine screenplay adapted from a novel and a defining performance from Julianne Moore uplifts this movie which tackled a melancholic, poignantly sensitive topic.

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