Film Review: Julianne Moore Delivers Shattering Portrayal in ‘Still Alice’

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CHICAGO – In one of the best film acting performances from 2014, Julianne Moore devastatingly portrays a woman in her fifties who is a victim of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. As the effects of dementia physically deteriorates her life, it is a wonder if she is “Still Alice.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

The performance of Moore is brave, unforgiving and sympathetic, plus it’s also unerringly sad. As much as it’s a story of Alice, it is also a story of her family, who must endure the infamous double loss of Alzheimer’s – the disintegration of the essence of their loved one, and their eventual physical demise. Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”) represent the family with virtually no tears, as their choices regarding Alice are faced by thousands of families every year. Although difficult to experience, “Still Alice” provides a glimpse into an inevitability in most people’s lives, and is a cinematic shorthand for how and what happens to a victim of their own biology.

Alice (Julianne Moore) is a highly regarded linguistics professor, blessed with a happy life through her husband John (Alec Baldwin) and three grown children (Hunter Parrish, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart). During a lecture, she finds herself forgetting key and long-entrenched elements of her syllabus. While perplexing, initially it’s not so alarming.

As her forgetfulness progresses, her distress and frustration increases. When she gets lost in her hometown while jogging, she begins memory testing, and the unfortunate diagnosis is early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The next several years for Alice is a slow descent into mental chaos, and her family must begin the painful process of dealing with her circumstance.

”Still Alice” opens everywhere on January 16th. Featuring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish and Kristen Stewart. Co-adapted (from the novel by Lisa Genova) and co-directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Still Alice”

Julianne Moore
Contemplation of Fate: Julianne Moore in ‘Still Alice’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Still Alice”

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