Monday, February 2, 2015

Still Alice: Is she?

Alice has it all. She's a well-regarded linguistics professor at Columbia University. She's married to a professor, has three grown children, an apartment in Manhattan and a beach house.

We meet her on her fiftieth birthday, a shining moment with her family.

But soon her perfect life begins unraveling. She gets lost jogging on campus. She forgets the words to a speech. Her agile mind becomes cloudy. She is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. The rest of the movie chronicles her slow, inevitable, and frightening decline.

Still Alice is one of this year's many movies that seem to be made to thrust a star into an Oscar-winning role. And Julianne Moore has already won a Golden Globe for her stellar performance. Alec Baldwin, as her husband, and Kristin Stewart, as her younger daughter, give laudable performances, too.

Despite the devastating subject, Still Alice never plummets into despair, which probably has to do with the book it is based on by Lisa Genova. But it also makes you wonder about those who don't have the means to hire a home healthcare aide and aren't surrounded by a family that can be at their side. 

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