There is no doubting the level of performance delivered by Julianne Moore when considering Still Alice. I thought Rosamund Pike was fantastic in Gone Girl and had hoped she would nab the golden statuette, but hats-off to Ms. Moore. Her portrayal of someone suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease is a study in mental suffering that one can only admire. That it sits within a somewhat threadbare framework considering personal and familial coping of such matters is a bit of a shame. Still Alice is one of those films that needs to be seen for the performance rather than the actual story.
Unfortunately I was not particularly engaged by any of Alice’s family members, in particular her eldest daughter, Anna, played by Kate Bosworth; and while there’s never enough of Alec Baldwin on the big screen, his turn as John, Alice’s husband, is understated to say the least. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by Kristen Stewart‘s role as Alice’s youngest child Lydia, an acting wannabe relocated to the West Coast; the furthest away from her mother’s difficulties but the closest to understanding her fears and ever-increasing limitations. It’s fair to say that some of the writing devices employed to portray the passing of time during Alice’s illness can be a bit clunky, although I did like the visual methods used by the filmmakers to indicate when Alice was suffering a particular “episode”.
Still Alice is Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland‘s fourth directorial collaboration and while it will be remembered for its strong central performance, when considering their body of work (to date) they’re not exactly setting the cinematic world on fire. The viewer will definitely be struck by the situation, but don’t let that mask the failings of the film. I think it’s a good indication of this film’s qualities that it was not nominated for either Best Picture or Best Director at this year’s Oscars. If you really want a performance that is award-worthy and set within a story that is interesting to view, then please consider Cake.
Thank you for reading 🙂