Saturday, February 14, 2015

Still Alice

Movie Name: Still Alice
Year of Release: 2014
Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Stars: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish, Shane McRae, Stephen Hunken, Daniel Gerroll, Seth Gilliam
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland are back, following their critically well received "The Last of Robin Hood" and "Quinceanera". The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Lisa Genova and follows the story of Alice Howland, a renown linguistics professor, married for many years and mother of 3 adult children. Alice discovers through a series of events and occurrences, that she has an onset of early Alzheimer's disease. Much to her horror, she starts losing track of things and her memory also starts fading away, affecting her professional career, and also her family life.
Directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland have a short but interesting career, particularly with the interesting "Quinceanera" which put them on the map. "Still Alice" is a drama anchored in the performance of the actors, particularly the luminous Julianne Moore, who composes and creates a character slowly losing control of her life, and without being able to prevent it. Much of the other characters aren't given much depth or as much of an arc, but thanks to the directors choice of following Alice's progressive health deterioration, we witness the affect that it produces on the life of a vibrant woman and how it resonates throughout her family. The film falters in the somewhat superficial brush that it gives to the lives of that family (interestingly Sarah Polley's "Away from Her" was a more delicate and stronger perspective to this theme and particular ailment). It is nonetheless an intimate drama, featuring a truly memorable performance from Julianne Moore. Worth watching.