Monday, 16 January 2017


“Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they're all individuals and they're all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.” - Carey Mulligan 

At the weekend we watched the excellent  Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland 2014 movie “Still Alice” starring  Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Hunter Parrish and Kate Bosworth. This was a touching and emotionally charged movie that despite its melancholy topic somehow made its point without excesses of emotion and without cheap and maudlin appeals to shallow empathy.

Alice Howland (Moore) is a renowned linguistics professor happily married to John (Baldwin) with three grown children, Anna (Bosworth), Lydia (Stewart) and Tom (Parrish). All that begins to change when Alice starts to forget words (the bane of a linguistics professor!) and then much more… When her doctor diagnoses her with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family’s lives face a harrowing challenge as this terminal degenerative neurological ailment slowly progresses to an inevitable conclusion they all dread. Along the way, Alice struggles to not only to fight the inner decay, but to make the most of her remaining time to find the love and peace to make simply living worthwhile.

The cast is excellent, especially Julieanne Moore who gives a stellar performance. I also enjoyed the supporting role of Lydia, played by Kristen Stewart. I don’t like Baldwin much as an actor, but in this film he plays the role of Alice’s rather “neutral” husband quite well.

Richard Glatzer, one of the directors and co-screenplay writer suffers from ASL himself (ASL = Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles). It is no surprise then, that the film gives such sympathetic and amazingly accurate portrayal of a person suffering from a progressive nervous system illness.

This is a wonderful film to watch, somehow uplifting (Alices speech at the conference about her personal experience with dementia is brilliant!), even though it deals with one of the most dreaded diseases of our society. A must-watch movie!

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