Still Alice – what happens when life changes

Posted on 9 March 2015
By Molly Wheeldon
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Julianne Moore is Alice Howland; a woman who lives for language, teaching, her children and her husband (Alec Baldwin). She is exceptionally intelligent, sweet, funny, and happy with her busy life.

As she begins to forget simple things like words, appointments and directions, she learns that she has Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. From this moment on her life is changed forever.

Still Alice is, yet again, an unbelievably heart-breaking story of a life that is turned upside down by an unexpected and earth-shattering disease.

Academy Award winner Moore is at her absolute best in this film. Never have we agreed with an Oscar win as much as this one. Her unmatched beauty and talent shines through in a role that holds an immense responsibility.

From the moment this heart-wrenching work of genius begins, Moore has you in floods of tears with her attempt to deal with the ‘new’ her. She is real and honest; she is scared and confused; and she is funny and inspiring. Her outbursts of despair and hopelessness are flawless. She is nothing but perfect, and brings another woman to the forefront of film and holds this leading role with flawless ease.

Alec Baldwin is lovely as Moore’s husband, but the real gem in this film is Kristen Stewart.

Say goodbye to the Twilight days, because Stewart is wonderful as Moore’s youngest daughter Lydia; finding her way in the world. Stewart’s performance as a young woman troubled with the high hopes of her mother and the shadow of her older sister (Kate Bosworth) is genuine and heartfelt.

Stewart’s character is one of the only characters in this film who doesn’t put on a façade in the situation she finds herself in. She is strong, and fragile, and unbelievably selfless. She helps Alice in her quest for sanity and meaning in life.

In what is probably the most tear-jerking moment in the entire film, Alice says:

“But for the time being, I’m still alive. I know I’m alive. I have people I love dearly. I have things I want to do with my life. I rail against myself for not being able to remember things – but I still have moments in the day of pure happiness and joy.”

“So, ‘live in the moment’ I tell myself. It’s really all I can do, live in the moment.”

(Cue tears…)

Still Alice is a tragedy. There’s no doubt about it – but what it so powerfully achieves, is the ability to portray inspiration, despair, loss, hope. Above all, the power of love to keep what little part of us we have left going.

Go and see Still Alice. It is Oscar winning and deservedly so. 101 minutes of what happens to you when life knocks you down.

That’s all.