Still Alice


“Still Alice” is one of the most touching movies I have seen in a long time.

Julianne Moore delivers an outstanding and sensitive performance as Dr Alice Howland, who was hit by early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I was wondering if the movie is going to showcase just the problems faced by otherwise normal people who are afflicted by this dreadful disease. But, “Still Alice” goes beyond that – it demonstrates the challenges that Dr Howland faces trying to reconnect to her previous self, and the deep impact her disease is having on those around her who love her as wife and mother. It also shows how Dr Howland suffers innately knowing the problems her disease has created for herself and for those around her – a kind of cognizance of her affliction and its impact on her life overall.

Dr Howland’s struggle to hold on to her identity as a professor, wife and mother, has been brought to life by the sterling performance of Julianne Moore. The helplessness of her husband and three children also comes through, though not as vividly. The subtle recognition of her status and the not-too-pressing push towards a cure, all helps as Dr Howland tries to steady herself every day of the rest of her life. Her doctor understands her situation rather well, and tries to help her – even to an extent which is out of scope, when he encourages her to speak in a seminar which she does amidst difficulties and to standing ovation.

I really liked the movie for its gentle flow, great direction, impactful characters, and the message. Everyone should see this movie. How Dr Howland deteriorates slowly and steadily through her dreadful disease, while trying to maintain her smile and grace, is a great depiction of effective story-telling of what is considered one of the most cruel diseases ever to hit mankind. I am amazed at the depth of the directors (there are two of them), and the most impressive performance of one of the most accomplished actresses of our time.

See it, and it will be sometime difficult to avoid having moist eyes.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

10th May 2015

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