Thursday, February 19, 2015

Still Alice (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Still Alice” Is Still Sad

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

What could be more tragic than a linguistic professor who begins to forget words? Well … one with early onset Alzheimer’s.

That’s the premise of “Still Alice,” a film based on the bestselling novel by Lisa Genova.

“Still Alice” stars Julianne Moore as Alice Howland, a comfortably married linguistics professor with three grown children whose life is upended at age 50 when she learns she has early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Moore’s performance has been nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress. After four previous Oscar nominations, Moore is considered a frontrunner for a golden statuette in Sunday’s 87th Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science presentations.

You can still catch “Still Alice” at the Tropic Cinema.

This sad story follows Alice as she discovers the cause of her forgetfulness and fights to retain her sense of who she is. Her family is impacted as they trace the gene that foretells this type of Alzheimer’s.

Alice begins to hide word clues for her to find (kinda like the way tattoos were used in “Momento”), and even prepares a video reminding herself to commit suicide when she can’t remember who she is.

The producers called in a consultant, an Oklahoma man named Ron Grant who suffers from the disease. For now, Grant has some measure of control over who he is -- but that won’t last long.

“The day will come eventually when I don’t, but right now, I do,” says Grant , who was 55 when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“The filmmakers just wanted to get some information on what it’s like living with the disease so that they could try to as accurately as possible portray what it’s like,” he adds.

When a couple of friends told me they were off to see “Still Alice,” I responded, “Enjoy the film” -- then retracted my words. “Enjoy” is not the right description for this tragic drama. But Julianne Moore deserves an Academy Award.


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