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At the movies: Still Alice

April 9, 2015

Still Alice

I’m sure most people know that Still Alice is the story of a woman, Alice Howland, and her family after she’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  Alice was an accomplished and intelligent woman – she was a professor of linguistics in her 50s when she began to suspect something was wrong.  Her diagnosis impacts her, her husband, and her three grown children.

When I went to see Still Alice I expected to cry and I did.  I also expected a stellar performance from Julianne Moore – she did win an Academy Award for her role as Alice, after all – and I got that too.  In fact, I thought the whole cast was terrific.   But, I have to say, I expected a little more from the movie.  I haven’t read the book, so I can’t make a comparison but the movie was only about Alice’s decline.  There were a couple of subplots that were never completely developed so I think they could have done a lot more with the movie.  Having said that, the movie made me sad and left me feeling unsettled so I think it probably accurately portrayed what it’s like to live with that dreadful disease.

Still Alice is definitely worth seeing but I think it’s probably best viewed in the privacy of your home with a box of tissues close by.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    April 9, 2015 5:53 am

    I have this on my list, but will likely not get to it until it’s out on streaming or HBO. I got teary just watching the clip.

  2. April 9, 2015 7:26 am

    Yes, as Candace said!

  3. April 9, 2015 8:08 am

    To me, it highlights very clearly that thing that all families of people with Alzheimer’s have to embrace (or should embrace if they can and it is not at all easy), live in the moment. It’s a significant shift, but sometimes, it’s what you have. I felt the book was very realistic about the progress of the disease, from my viewpoint as a family member anyway. I have not watched the movie yet and I don’t know that I will. Reading about it and seeing it are two totally different things. Maybe one day.

  4. April 9, 2015 8:40 am

    I’m with Kay. I thought the book did a wonderful job portraying the disease and it’s effect on a family as well as the person afflicted with Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen the disease up close as it affected my father-in-law. Not sure I want to see what Hollywood does with it even though I like Julianne Moore. But, maybe someday. Thanks for your thoughts on the film.

  5. April 9, 2015 9:50 am

    I really liked it a lot. I don’t remember being bothered by the single-minded focus on Alice. But, then again, I saw it a few months ago. And the memory tends to fade!

  6. April 9, 2015 10:44 am

    I loved the movie and plan to see it again when it is available on DVD…so I can cry in privacy. Thanks for sharing.

  7. talesofwhimsy permalink
    April 9, 2015 10:56 am

    Oh how sad. Sounds good. Thanks for your honest review dear.

  8. April 9, 2015 11:15 am

    I have the book and haven’t read it and I haven’t been beating a path to see this movie either. I don’t know. I can deal with a lot of depressing things in books but losing one’s memory is a tough one. for me.

  9. April 9, 2015 11:49 am

    I went to see this at a theater and yeah, cried through at least a third of it. I thought Moore’s performance was stunning but yeah, I can see some threads of subplots that didn’t go very far.

  10. April 9, 2015 12:39 pm

    I read the book and LOVED it. My dad has Alzheimers and it helped me tremendously with the loss of who he was and how to handle him at times. It was sad but inspiring also. I can’t wait to see the movie but maybe I will wait to watch it in the privacy of home.

  11. April 9, 2015 12:40 pm

    I’ve read the book and I have also seen the movie. I think the book was beyond amazing, but in spite of a stellar performance by Moore, I was a little let down by the movie. It was good, but the book is so much better.

  12. Diane permalink
    April 9, 2015 12:53 pm

    I’m waiting until I can watch it at home. I did love the book, but heard the movie was awfully short. My husband didn’t want to see it so I can wait.

  13. April 9, 2015 1:44 pm

    This story sounds very touching, of course. Julianne Moore is such a good actress, so I’ll probably see this at some point. Thanks for your honest review, Kathy.

  14. April 9, 2015 3:06 pm

    The book was so, so sad… not sure I’m up for the movie.

  15. April 9, 2015 3:09 pm

    Eh, not for me

  16. April 9, 2015 3:43 pm

    I haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet.

  17. Patty permalink
    April 9, 2015 5:02 pm

    Yep…another tough one to read and to see…

  18. April 9, 2015 5:48 pm

    The book is also mostly about Alice’s decline. It’s terribly sad! And beautiful. I want to watch this movie but need to steel myself first.

  19. April 9, 2015 6:14 pm

    I knew after reading the book this would be a movie to watch at home.

  20. April 9, 2015 9:06 pm

    I really want to go see this (and read the book). I’ve heard a lot about the book and several teachers at my school are actually going to be picking it up next year. I’m sure I’ll be reading this over the summer and following up my reading of the book with the movie.

  21. April 10, 2015 1:11 am

    I’ll probably wait till I can watch it at home. My mom passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease in December. I think tho that it’s an important issue to be brought forth. I did read the book. I “liked” the book.

  22. April 10, 2015 2:10 am

    I read the book and liked it very much. Intense and emotional and the book made it very pers

  23. April 10, 2015 9:09 am

    I’m glad to know your recommendation about watching this one at home. I wondered.

  24. April 10, 2015 4:57 pm

    I haven’t read the book, and I’m not sure I want to see the movie, but I admit I’m kind of curious.

  25. April 10, 2015 5:33 pm

    I’m eager both to watch and read this one, though I’ll probably watch it first. I like Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart and hear they are both good in this. I’ll keep the tissues handy 🙂

  26. booksnyc permalink
    April 12, 2015 5:04 pm

    I didn’t read the book either but saw the movie – I wonder if those sub-plots are better developed in the book? I thought it was fascinating when Alice’s doctor said that it was possible that she had had slowly progressing Alzheimer’s for years but that her intelligence had enabled her to mask symptoms without her even realizing it was happening.

  27. The Cue Card permalink
    April 21, 2015 2:33 pm

    Yeah I read the book & saw the movie. It’s not filled with a lot other than her slow progression and seeing things from her perspective. It’s a simple story but effective.

  28. Ryan permalink
    April 21, 2015 9:36 pm

    I’ve wanted to see this movie for a while now, but because it’s about one of my greatest fears, I’m not sure I will.

  29. bookingmama permalink
    April 22, 2015 10:08 pm

    I want to read the book first but I’m not sure now is the time for me to tackle this subject matter.

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