Julianne Moore’s Oscar race has really been the only promotion that I have seen for Still Alice, without this I wouldn’t be surprised if I hadn’t heard of the movie. I’m sure that her Oscar-winning performance will be enough to get many to buy a ticket for this movie, and for that I am very thankful.
Firstly I have to comment on that Oscar win, completely deserved. Of course as the nominations and eventually the winners were announced at the Oscars I still hadn’t seen Still Alice and due to the hype surrounding Moore’s performance I did have high expectations for this film. Refreshingly the film stood up to this hype and especially the performance of Julianne Moore. She is just wonderful in this film, much like Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything you struggle to separate the illness portrayed, from the actor portraying it. The progression of the illness is captured so well through her performance and you can tell that so much work, research and emotion has been poured into this performance. I can now understand why everyone was so certain that she was going to win her category. Her supporting cast is also very strong, although the rest of the cast have more subtle performances they contribute to this film in a wonderful way. Alec Baldwin plays Moore’s husband and he does so very believably. Kristen Stewart has certainly come a long way from the Twilight series as here as Moore’s daughter she plays a genuinely likable character and like her fellow cast members she too contributes to making this such an honest and heartfelt film.
Whilst Julianne Moore most definitely stands out the film never becomes about her as an actress, this is first and foremost a film about Alzheimer’s disease. The film works on several different levels, it obviously raises awareness about the disease and is very informative in parts. As well as this the film has many things to say about the disease and the stigma concerning mental health. On top of these aspects though the film works just simply as a story too. These different aspects to the film are why Still Alice is such a success because it works whatever slant you approach it from. In terms of being a good story this is achieved through a couple of different ways. I know I have mentioned the cast already but they do a great job at engaging the audience and they are written in an appropriate way. The score is the perfect accompaniment to the film and it sets the tone nicely right from the start. The film always strikes the balance correctly of which character to focus on too meaning that there were no pacing problems and you always felt for whoever was on screen.
Still Alice is a wonderful film, it showcases very well the power of cinema and I think that it will do great things for Alzheimer’s research and awareness. The film could have got bogged down in emotion and self-pity but it doesn’t, this makes the film great as it shows the complete experience of living with this disease is. Still Alice is real, honest and was just a joy to watch. Everyone involved with this film should be immensely proud of what they have done for the charities and for film-making.
Rating – 10/10