Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart
Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Running Time: 101 mins
Still Alice is an American film about a renowned linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and as she begins to lose her memory, she and her family find their relations tested to breaking point.
This is, above all, a fantastically well-acted film. It works very well on the emotions, it’s got a very effective and atmospheric score, and although I thought that the dialogue was at times a bit iffy, it’s the performances from everyone here that really emphasise the gravity of the situation and make it such an engrossing story.
So, I’ll start with the fantastic central performance by Julianne Moore. With a week to go before the Oscars, she’s got her name all but engraved on the Best Actress award, and rightly so. From the start, she’s so confident in what is quite an ambitious role, and massively convincing during this woman’s painful struggle against her illness, and it all makes for a hugely intriguing character and a mesmerisingly emotional experience as the film goes on.
But it’s not just Moore’s fantastic work at the centre of this film that’s so impressive. The supporting cast are all brilliant, which just adds to the real emotion that this film resonates. Alec Baldwin is amazingly calm and grounded in his role, but massively easy to relate to and understand, whilst Kristen Stewart, of Twilight fame, is also very good, playing the teenage daughter character that would normally get on your nerves very easily.
As well as the excellent performances, this film also adds to its emotional feel through its brilliant score. While mainly very simple, it often ranges from excessively quiet to occasionally Dallas Buyers Club-esque ear-piercing moments, and it all works very well to effortlessly create a heightened sense of drama throughout.
The only problem that I did have with this film was that the dialogue and the scripting was a little dry. Of course, the performances helped the story to come together as a success in the end, but there are a few too many dialogue scenes that just aren’t as interesting as they need to be.
Overall, though, this gets a 7.7, because it’s a beautifully acted film with a very effective score behind it that contribute to a very dramatic and emotional experience.