Julianne Moore is a linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease and she must find a way to cope with her loss in memory and eventually basic neural functions while still trying to keep in contact with her family. Meanwhile Kristen Stewart – her daughter – is trying to make it as an actor instead of going to college like her mother wants her to do.
Still Alice is a very touching and sensitive portrayal of Alzheimer’s disease like nothing I’ve ever seen, but to say that it is the film that is doing this would be false. I think that the praise for the brilliance of Still Alice can be placed at the feet of the actors. As a film it is unimaginatively shot, set at a pedestrian pace and follows a fairly derivative storyline. However, the performances are pretty much all not perfect.
Julianne Moore has never been, and quite possibly will never again be this spectacular. In a performance so multi-layered and nuanced it makes Eddie Redmayne in the Theory of Everything look quite ordinary. It’s just so difficult to find the right words to describe the sheer perfection Moore achieves. But let’s not forget Kristen Stewart in all of this, because she is also terrific in a difficult role that could have come across so badly.
Overall, Still Alice is an uninspiring film with brilliant performances that you simply must watch. I just think Juliane Moore deserved better.