Monday, July 4, 2016

Movie Monday: Still Alice

Still Alice
When opportunity arises, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do, especially when it comes to the 100 Best Novels list. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good story in any form.

Film Title: Still Alice
Book Title: Still Alice
Release Year: 2014

Summary: Julianne Moore stars as Alice, a Harvard professor whose life is turned upside down by early-onset Alzheimer's. 

What I Thought: Shockingly, I actually watched this movie before reading the book. All you really need to know is that it was so good I picked up the book that same day.

A lot of my same thoughts from the book carry over here. In addition, the cinematography, the acting, the general decisions made to adapt the story for film all are masterful. Julianne Moore is a force onscreen: accessible, formidable, emotional, and in total control of her character's loss of control. The Oscar she won for this role was well deserved. 

One thing I particularly both liked and disliked was the removal of any dates from the story. Where the book, as I learned, includes a rough timeline for readers, the movie has almost none. Gone are the touchstones of months and years so you can track passage of time. Instead, like Alice, you must rely on contextual clues. To me, this felt like a decision that made her struggle more authentic. After all, it frustrated me at times to not be sure how much time had passed between scenes. It seemed a small shared piece of the character's experience.
My only real complaint? Kristen Stewart as Lydia. Sigh. I just really don't like her. She did a fine job, so I shouldn't even bring it up, but I just don't enjoy her onscreen presence. Still, another valiant effort at shedding her Twilight mantle. 

As with the book, I think anyone who has, is, or will deal with Alzheimer's or dementia in their family should see this. It offers a fresh, powerful perspective on the scary process so many encounter in their later years. 

Rating: ★★★★★
Will I Re-Watch: Yes

A Reduced Review: A powerful, moving look into life with Alzheimer's that is worth the watch for so many reasons. 

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