Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.
Release Date: January 16, 2015
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Grade: A- In a Nutshell: Julianne Moore won a Golden Globe for her stellar performance in this important drama. The script isn’t brilliant, but Julianne’s use of subtle nuance is. Her grace and skill in this realistic, heart-breaking film is what earned her a well-deserved award.. My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so this movie felt very personal to me. It’s hard to watch someone you love lose herself. Uplifting Theme: · My grandmother lost her memory long before her body finally gave out. On the other hand, my father-in-law’s mind was super sharp until the day his body stopped. I’ve often wondered which way of dying is worse. If you could choose, which way would you want to go? I think the goal is to be kind and brave until the end. · Alice uses the keyword “butterfly” on her computer as an important marker, as well as wear butterfly jewelry that has symbolic meaning. A butterfly represents change and metamorphosis; our lives are constantly evolving. Later, Alice comments “butterflies don’t live a long time, but they have a nice life.” Things I liked: · My mother has become very childlike as her Alzheimer’s has progressed. So did Alice. I appreciated the accurate details in the movie that showed the writers and directors had truly researched this debilitating illness that affects an estimated 5.1 million people in America in 2015. · Alice does all of the right things to exercise her brain, including use mobile apps like “Words with Friends”. What are you doing to give your brain a workout? She also takes good care of her body. Alice’s doctor says “Get some exercise. It’s good to get the blood pumping. Hydration helps memory.” · It was fun to see Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore together again as a couple. They played a dysfunctional, but passionate couple on the comedy TV show 30 Rock: The Complete Series (Seasons 1-7 Bundle) many years ago. As a married couple, they modeled a good example of informing themselves of the issues and asking good questions of Alice’s doctor. It’s important to take an active role in your health and work with your health care professionals, rather than blindly accept whatever they say. · I thought it was interesting that the camera didn’t focus on the doctor in the beginning. He didn’t make eye contact with the patient which, sadly, happens to me. That’s so annoying and unprofessional. My aunt was visiting a doctor who never looked at her husband, the patient. Instead, the doctor sat at his desk, typing on his computer. Finally, my aunt was fed up with the doctor and sharply scolded him by saying “You might want to look up from your monitor to actually see your patient.” True story. · As a college professor, I have a twisted love for big words. Ironically, Alice teaches phenology (the study of the sound of language) at Colombia University and is surrounded by academic nerds who use words like “vituperatively” (bitter and abusive), “seminal” (of a work or event that strongly influences later developments), and lexicon (the vocabulary of a person or branch of knowledge). - I thought it was important to show the affect this illness has on the family. Things I didn’t like: · This is a serious movie with only a little bit of subtle humor. It ends with a good message, but it can be quite depressing. With an inevitable end of life, I was curious to see at which point of Alice's illness the movie would finish. Insightful lines: · “Who can take us seriously when we are so far from what we once were?” – Alice · “Live in the moment. That’s all I can do.” - Alice · “Nothing is lost forever.” – Lydia (Kristen Stewart) · “It’s all about love.” – Lydia · “Now, you may say this falls into the great academic tradition of knowing more and more about less and less, until we know everything about nothing.” – Alice · “I wish I had cancer. “ – Alice “Don’t say that.” – Dr. John Howland “No, I do. I mean it. I mean I wouldn’t be so ashamed. People have cancer and they wear pink ribbons for you , and go on long walks to raise money, and you don’t have to feel like some kind of a social…I can’t remember the word…” - Alice · “I don’t have to be fair – I’m your mother.” – Alice Tips for Parents: · This isn’t exactly a movie for children; however, if they have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it might create an environment for discussion. · There is one F-bomb in the movie, which is spoken by Alice. When my grandmother neared the end of her life with Alzheimer’s, her sweet little lips turned into a foul-mouthed sailor’s! We had never heard her use profanity before! You have to keep a sense of humor even with the most serious of illnesses.July 18th, 2015 · Details
Excellent movie! A must watch for all adults with their adult children sitting beside them. Great lessons on love and letting go. They show how Alzheimer's effects the different members of the family. Learning to let go is the great lesson of this movie.April 13th, 2015 · Details
Through a tearfully gripping story (and Julianne Moore's masterful performance) we're shown instead that life is inviolable and love is sacrifice. And even when we don't choose life and love for ourselves, the film tells us, sometimes it is those powerful things that choose us. Even in the face of devastating loss, true love endures, it stands by us, it comforts and it protects. Still Alice wants us to know that love is well worth clinging to, no matter what point we presently occupy in our crazy and sometimes jagged journey through life.Click here to read the full review
“Still Alice” is not an easy film to watch, but it is a movie well worth seeing.Click here to read the full review
The real depredations of Alzheimer's disease and its toll on the families of the afflicted are not on display in the flawed drama "Still Alice"Click here to read the full reviewJanuary 22nd, 2015 · Details
Because the there is no vaccine, no magic cure, and even few known ways to prevent the onset of this mentally disabling disease (at this point anyway), Still Alice is one of the most frightening films I’ve seen in recent memory. Alzheimer’s is real and we are all vulnerable. However the silver lining of this film is its strong testament to the importance of family and spousal support, something that will become increasingly necessary within our aging population.Click here to read the full reviewJanuary 16th, 2015 · Details