Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth
Director: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
Still Alice is a movie that everyone has been talking to of late thanks to the terrific central performance from Julianne Moore. Moore has dominated the awards circuit, winning the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, Bafta, and Oscar for her work.
Now UK audiences finally get to see what all of the fuss is about as Still Alice hits the big screen today - it is the final awards season movie to check out and Moore's performance alone make it well worth a watch.
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
Moore has been one of the best actresses of her generation for some time, but Still Alice is the movie and the role that really allows her to excel. This is role that has allowed her to truly get under the skin of a character and deliver an emotionally devastating performance - seriously, her work in this film will utterly break your heart.
For me, Moore's performance is the heart and soul of this movie and is the real reason why this film works as well as it does. This is not a 'woe is me' dramatic and over the top performance, in fact it is a very quiet turn from the actress. This is a movie that looks at the inner turmoil of a woman who has received the most devastating news - the character of Alice Howland is teetering on the verge of an emotional collapse, and Moore just depicts that struggle to stay in control an understand what is happening to her so beautifully.
A film about Alzheimer's Disease is always tricky, but Still Alice has been done with the utmost sensitivity and respect from directors Richard Glazer and Wash Westmoreland. There is still a lot of taboo around the subject of mental health, and Still Alice is a movie that had to be made and a story that had to be told and explored.
A terrific supporting cast has been assembled for the film, as Still Alice also looks at the impact the diagnosis has on Alice's family and how they cope with seeing a wife and mother change in front of their eyes. While everyone gives a great performance, it is Alec Baldwin's work that really does standout.
This is the second year in a row that Baldwin has played the on-screen husband of the actress who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar - last year he starred alongside Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine - and it is heartbreaking partnership between him and Moore.
However, Still Alice is a movie that belongs 100% to Moore as her performance towers head and shoulders about everyone else. It is Moore's work in this movie that makes it as emotional and powerful a watch as it is. There is something so real and raw about this character and the emotions that she shows, as Moore really brings home the message that this could happen to anyone.
Moore truly deserves all of the praise and accolades that have come her way over the awards season, as this is the best performance of her career to date - and she really has delivered some good ones over the years - make sure this is piece of her work that you do not miss.
Perhaps the production has a bit of a television feel to it at times and that does let it down a little. Having said that, Still Alice is a powerful and moving script that puts a very sensitive subject in the spotlight.
Still Alice is out now.
Tagged in Julianne Moore