Still Alice

“This past Sunday was all about seeing Best Actress nominees, thus rounding out the last of the above the line nominated films I was missing. It started with current frontrunner Julianne Moore in Still Alice, where she played a woman diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s.

Moore was fantastic. She had a real sincerity and humanity to what she was doing, instead of simply mugging for the camera as many in this type of role would be likely to do. She got what it was about. it wasn’t about seeing the physical effects, or even the mental effects of the disease. It was about the emotional impact of it. What it’s like to lose who you are and what effect it has on your relationships. She had a determination to hold on to everything she loved, and it was both beautiful and heartbreaking to watch.

There was a strong supporting cast, and I truly mean supporting as they were playing her family, trying to take care of her thru the ordeal. Alec Baldwin, in an uncharacteristically sympathetic role (well uncharacteristic for me who knows him best as Jack Donaghy) as her husband. He was such a sweetheart, equally frustrated by the turn of events, with a stubborn will to not accept defeat. Her children, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish (*swoon*) (and in a second turn as Baldwin’s kid after It’s Complicated), and Kristin Stewart. Now, early on, I’d heard some compliments for Stewart’s work, even some long shot award possibilities. I made skepticism face. But it turns out, she is able to add some depth to the angsty face she perfected in Twilight. When I wrote up Panic Room a few months ago, one of her earliest acting jobs, I decried the potential that was later wasted. She’s starting to get it back, and I really hope that she does.

At times, this wasn’t an easy film to get thru, but I feel it’s an important one. It’s a story that’s becoming more and more common in our lives, and deserved to be explored on screen with the level of dignity and care that it was given.

Still Alice – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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