Still Alice (2014) Review

Still Alice has been a film that has always interested me but I just never got around to seeing. Julianne Moore is an absolutely fantastic actress and this being the film she won the Academy Award for best actress made me always want to see it. I was happy when Kyle gave me it and couldn’t wait to see what this film was about as I actually had zero idea what the plot was.

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Still Alice revolves around Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), a successful professor at Columbia University with a loving husband (Alec Baldwin) and two successful children (Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish) and one daughter (Kristen Stewart) who is following her dreams of becoming an actress. Alice begins to have memory lapses and fears she has a brain tumor while she visits a neurologist but is tragically surprised to learn she has a rare case of early onset Alzheimer’s. We follow Alice and see how she struggles to cope and live with this horrifying disease and see her start to deteriorate over a faster period of time than usual patients with this disease.

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This film is Julianne Moore’s film and she absolutely deserved that Academy Award. What really surprised me was that it wasn’t one of those Oscar baity performances but it was very subdued and real which I always enjoy more than when it feels an actor is trying too hard. Honestly, mostly everybody was very good in this film. Kate Bosworth was fine in her role but kind of felt bland in a few scenes. Kristen Stewart was fantastic as Alice’s daughter, giving her own nuanced performance. Alec Baldwin is so good in pretty much everything and here he plays a loving and caring husband extremely well. You see in his eyes the love he has for his wife and that he’ll go through this struggle with her and it definitely brought the emotions out.

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Speaking of emotions, my lord is this movie sad. The entire final scene is one of the saddist scenes I’ve seen in a while. I had to sit there and just kind of let my emotional core unwind and actually had to rewatch it because I wanted to see if it was a fluke one time emotional pull, well it wasn’t. The entire movie was an emotional journey that really lets you see what it’s like for this woman to deal with this tragic event in her life. This is also where my main issue with the movie lies. While Moore’s performance doesn’t feel Oscar baity, the film however has a couple scenes that definitely feel like they’re there to check off the “need to do this for an Oscar” checklist. Most of the film is well done but it definitely has some scenes that only feel like they’re there for this reason. Also sometimes, the film feels a tad choppy like it cuts around in a few spots. I feel it was maybe the directors intention as a way of adding to your immersion and relation to Alice’s memory lapses she sometimes gets but it did feel like sometimes you’d just go from one scene to another without that set-up scene.

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Besides this, Still Alice is a Julianne Moore powerhouse performance and packs a huge emotional punch.

Grade: B

 

 

Kyle’s Next Movie:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

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Perfect timing with this swap as the finale to one of the (hopefully if reviews are anything to go by) best trilogies ever hits theaters on July 14th, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the biggest surprises I’ve ever seen. This film interested me but when I saw it I was just so mind blown at how good it was and then well, we’ll get to that next week. Enjoy Kyle! 


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