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Still Alice (2014)

After much waiting, I finally managed to get around to seeing “Still Alice”, hearing that is the movie that may finally win an Oscar for veteran thespian Julianne Moore.

Notice how I use the word thespian. Moore has been around for a long time, and has never been one to hog the spot light. In “Still Alice”, she proves to be more than a movie star. She is what she has always been (and what we have, I am afraid, forgotten at times). She is a wonderful actress.

She stars here as Alice Howland, a professor of linguistics at Columbia. She has a happy life, with three grown children and a wonderful husband John (Alec Baldwin). Soon, she begins to realize she is suffering from Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The movie is therefore dedicated to her struggle with it.

In a way, this movie reminded me a bit of “Sophie’s Choice”. That movie had actors doing wonderful supporting work, but overshadowed by an actress who brought their A game. In “Still Alice”, we get great supporting work from Alec Baldwin (who last year played opposite Cate Blancett in “Blue Jasmine”, for which she won the Oscar. It seems lighting is likely to strike twice), and the actors playing her kids. Kate Bosworth is Anna, Shane McRae is Charlie, but the main stand out is Kristen Stewart as Lydia. Stewart reminds us she is more than just Bella from the “Twilight” series. When given the right script, she can be very affective.

Still, this movie is Moore’s movie. She is the main reason to see it. She has been nominated for the Oscar and lost four times. This is her fifth nomination, and it is without a doubt going to be her first win. She is absolutely spellbinding as Alice. You would think a role like this would be favorable to most actors, but an experienced thespian is needed to make it work.

Parents, there is some swearing, and one sexual reverence, but that is it (there is a small moment where John has to help Alice get her pants on, but nothing really bad). I would think any mature teen who would want to see this is fine (especially if they are into great acting).

At the end of the movie, we agree with what the characters are talking about. It is all about love.

Overall: 4 Stars ****

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