Cinematic Releases: Still Alice

Julianne Moore and the performance of her career will be released in theaters this week.

"I just love the way you act.
What do you say we go back
to my place and act all over
the place?"
Everything you've heard about this movie is right. Resting on the divine performance of Julianne Moore and her natural chemistry with Kristen Stewart, Still Alice is one of the most revealing and truly heartbreaking films of 2014. 

The film tells the story of one woman's battle against early onset Alzheimer's disease and the chilling effects it has on her dedicated but emotionally ravaged family. While the film is a challenging watch and the subject matter is depressing, Still Alice is an uplifting piece of cinema that further proves Julianne Moore's consistency in carrying weighty performances with an ease and natural quality that's mostly lacking in the upper echelon of today's leading actors. With Still Alice she resets and realigns herself as the best and most diversified actress working today. 

Still Alice is not an easy experience. It's heavy on the tear jerking moments, steady in its emotive qualities, and will tug at your heart from beginning to end. Without a powerful cast and two skilled directors, it could have easily played like a made for tv movie about Alzheimers. Between the casting choices, the intuitive use of peaceful but stirring musical tones, and a realistic script, Still Alice is one of the late standouts of 2014 that will most likely garner an Oscar win for Moore.

"Mom, dad said you have
an addiction to acting. I think
it's time we seek some help.
How about AA? Actors anonymous."
The most beautiful thing about the film is the familial qualities between all the actors involved. There's an innate sense of teamwork and an instinctive commonality that's shared between all of them. Yet, the believable mother/daughter relationship between Stewart and Moore transitions to the screen perfectly while all the other cast members give them an integral support system. 

Alec Baldwin finally steps outside his usual self and becomes the actor we knew he could be while the stunning Kate Bosworth shines and  Hunter Parrish (Weeds) finally evades his 8 years as pothead Silas Botwin. Somehow the stars aligned with resounding effect for Still Alice. The entire cast brings sobering real life moments to this heart wrenching story but never falls into the pitfalls of melodrama or cliche.

A film like Still Alice is exactly what Alzheimer's needs. There are too many unanswered questions and too many misconceptions. With this inspirational performance from Moore and a flawless screenplay from directors Westmoreland and Glatzer, Still Alice stands atop some of the best dramatic films of 2014. If you have a chance to catch it in a theater, take the time but be prepared with some tissues. Of all the movies I've seen in the last year, this is the second one that almost brought me to tears. I said almost.