Tom Basham

Still Alice

In This Just OUT on March 1, 2015 at 8:44 am

Still-Alice-PosterShe is “Still Alice,” even if she doesn’t live in her body anymore. I can’t remember when I was more scared of a movie or losing my train of thought and never getting to the station.

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore from “Non-Stop“) has a doctorate in linguistics and teaches at Columbia. Her whole life has been about the pursuit of knowledge and communication. When she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she tries everything to hold on to her life and lifetime of memories. Alice’s family is there to support her, but there isn’t much they can do. Actually, there is nothing that anyone can do but watch the Alice they love and know disappear before their eyes.

This is truly a horrible disease, as shown here; it affects everyone around Alice. As her condition deteriorates, Alice regresses to a child-like state where she can’t be left alone or tell people what she wants. Early on, Alice wishes she had cancer, as there is much more empathy and understanding from people who watch cancer take their life. With Alzheimer’s, Alice’s life is taken from her, but she is still alive. Few things are more difficult to deal with than a full-grown child.

Julianne Moore deserved the Oscar she got for this movie. You watch her go from being smart and brave to struggling and sickly to a pitiful and pathetic existence. Her husband John (Alec Baldwin from “Blue Jasmine“) does his best to keep the rest of the family together and not lose himself in the process. I have always seen family pull together in the beginning of life with baby love, and near the end when one passes on. It’s in the middle when family can be a real pain in the ass. I should be more understanding since my wife has to deal with my selective hearing disorder.

I was worried this Lifetime movie subject matter would hit below the belt and go for the easy tears. Instead, they landed above the belt, at the heart of the matter. Nothing was sensationalized or overdone, as the simple tale of Lisa Genova’s novel was terrifying enough.

This movie about a long, cruel and crippling death taught me something about life, and for that reason I must give this movie 4 stars out of 5. I only hope I don’t forget the most important things.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:


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