Still Alice [2014] ★★★

still_alice_xlg“Still Alice” deals with Alzheimer’s disease. I thought you should know that before you cringe and stop reading. But just in case you decide to stick around, I will tell you that while it’s not an easy movie to watch, it’s still a rich and rewarding experience. That Julianne Moore gives an honest, empathetic performance should come as no surprise; she is one of the most gifted and daring actresses of our time, as she’s proved in such films as “Far From Heaven”, “The Hours” and “The Kids Are All Right” (to name a few). Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland make a bold move as directors and screenwriters of “Still Alice” by adapting Lisa Genova’s novel about a 50 year old highly-respected professor of linguistics (Moore) who finds herself attacked by an unseen enemy: memory loss. She starts fading with small things, but when the disease spreads, the movie becomes more and more devastating. Her family reacts in various ways to her condition, with the rebel daughter (Kirsten Stewart, in fine form) becoming her willing caretaker. All the acting is first rate, but this is Julianne Moore’s show, as she is the heart and soul of “Still Alice”. Will she finally win her long awaited Oscar? We’ll have to find out. Either way, she is reason enough to check out this uniquely rewarding drama.

Rating: 3/4

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