Still Alice Movie Review
Alzheimer's sucks. My grandma had it. Someone you know may have had it. In Still Alice, Julianne Moore has it, even though she is still young and in her prime. Prepare to cry.
There is nothing particularly great about Still Alice the movie. It is, after all, a paint-by-numbers depiction of a woman whose memory starts to betray her. The story itself is simple, and each scene is an interactive step to show its subject's deterioration.
And yet, to fault a movie for being simple is not right. Movies like this seek to resonate with you on an emotional level, and there is no denying that Still Alice has an emotional impact. Julianne Moore is terrific in the lead, and while she has been better in other films, this may be the role and performance that finally earns her a much overdue Academy Award.
Moore carries the film's load almost exclusively, despite significant supporting roles for Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart. Both Baldwin and Stewart are fine, but Baldwin's character is underdeveloped and not given much to do, while Stewart's primarily exists to react to her mother's mental miscues. To that end, Moore delivers such a rich, deep and believable performance it's hard not to be moved by what her character goes through.
If you're a crier, the final scene will likely rip you up.
While it's hard to describe Still Alice as a great movie--it's good, but nothing groundbreaking--there is no denying that Julianne Moore's powerful performance elevates the material and makes it one of the more emotional films of the year.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.