Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish
Directed By: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
Alzheimer’s is a scary disease. Forgetting everything, forgetting where you are, who you are, is a daunting prognosis. Julianne Moore has been tasked with showing us the struggle of living with early onset Alzheimer’s in the Oscar bait drama Still Alice.
Moore plays a linguistics professor who starts noticing that she can’t remember words, places, and eventually gets diagnosed with a genetic form of early onset Alzheimer’s. The devastating part is that she finds out that she’s also passed it along to at least one of her children (Kate Bosworth), while another (Kristen Stewart) refuses to take the test and find out. Over the course of the film, Alice rapidly deteriorates, losing parts of herself in the process. Her husband, played exactly as you’d expect Alec Baldwin to play the role, struggles to hold her together.
Much like The Theory Of Everything was a tour de force for Eddie Redmayne, Still Alice is all about Julianne Moore. Even though Alec Baldwin does a good job, and this is probably the best role Kristen Stewart has had in years, everyone will only remember Moore. For an acclaimed actress who has never won an Academy Award, this is the performance that demands her finally be recognized.
My one concern is that it seems as though the other characters are dramatically underdeveloped in place of Moore’s Alice. I’m not even really sure what some of her kids names were in the film, especially her son (Hunter Parrish). So while Still Alice may not be a perfectly fulfilling movie, it is a damn fine performance from Moore, one she’ll probably win the Oscar for.
FINAL GRADE: A_