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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Movie Review - Still Alice

Still Alice (2014)
Starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart
Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

While I wouldn't necessarily call Julianne Moore's performance in Still Alice a tour de force, I must admit that due to her acting choices and the way she reads certain lines, she nearly made me tear up in certain scenes in this film about a fifty-something year-old woman who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.  While the film itself is "just fine," Moore does elevate things which is likely a reason she walked away with the Oscar for Best Actress this past year.  (It also certainly helped that the roles for women in films in 2014 were decidedly weak.)

While I could list a summary for you, quite frankly I've already written all you need to know about Still Alice in the opening paragraph.  Thanks to a relatively quick running time, the directing and screenwriting team of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland place the focus squarely on Alice (Moore), a linguistics professor who can't help but find irony in the fact that her education in language and communication is failing her personally now thanks to the incurable disease that is slowly deteriorating her mind.  With her three adult children and husband (Alec Baldwin) by her side, Alice must come to terms with the fact that her life will unfortunately never be the same.

While Moore is in every scene in the film, the moments that ring the most true for me were the ones in which she is discussing her disease with her family.  Baldwin as her husband and Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth as her daughters help to humanize things even more by reacting in a variety of believable ways to their wife/mother's diagnosis.  Without them to play off of, Moore wouldn't have shined nearly as bright as she does.

Still Alice certainly works as a movie and it doesn't particularly do anything wrong in any aspect, but don't go into this one expecting to be blown away because that won't happen.  This is a good film that I admittedly don't think can be any better than it is -- but it's simply good, not great.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

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