Movie Reviews

Review: 'Still Alice'

By Deborah WeeMovies - 06 February 2015 12:00 AM

Review: 'Still Alice'

Still Alice

Our Rating

4/5 Stars

Third time was not a charm for Julianne Moore. Nor was the forth.

The fifth Oscar nod has to be it. Portraying a memory-impaired Alice in 'Still Alice' with such finesse, the 54-year-old's talent might finally score her an Oscar win this year.

Even with fierce competition from her fellow nominees such as Rosamund Pike ('Gone Girl'), Felicity Jones ('The Theory of Everything') and Reese Witherspoon ('Wild'), Moore’s performance in this film has made her a clear frontrunner to take the coveted gold statuette home.

But just like the family at the centre of the film, it was very much a team effort that made ‘Still Alice’ such a gripping and moving drama devoid of any dull moments.

A SENSATIONAL LEADING ACTRESS

Julianne Moore as Alice, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease | Photo: Golden Village Pictures 

Dr Alice Rowland (Moore) is a brilliant linguistics professor at Columbia University. She is equally accomplished at home, being happily married to her husband, John (Alec Baldwin), and they have three loving grown-up children (played by Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish and Kristen Stewart).

The brainy Alice truly begins to lose everything when she is diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and she can only wait helplessly as her world begins to fall apart. Her family is relentlessly supporting, but Alice’s condition is theirs to battle as well.

If Moore’s Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe wins are not already an indication, the actress is the movie’s undoubted star. She owns the screen from the get go, charming us with her character’s amiable moments and breaking our hearts when the illness begins to take its toll.

Her performance is nothing short of sensational. Her transformation from the opening scene to when the credits start rolling is striking, and she captures Alice’s helplessness when she is at the mercy of her illness.

Emotions are amplified where Alice’s family is involved, and you feel the character’s fear for and guilt towards her husband and children because of her condition. It is very hard not to feel genuinely sorry for her.

GREAT TEAM EFFORT

Julianne Moore (left) and Kristen Stewart having a mother-daughter moment on screen | Photo: Golden Village Pictures

The supporting cast play a huge role in elevating Moore's character as well, with Baldwin, Bosworth and Stewart providing worthy support and packing more emotional punch to their scenes togetherr. Through them, the audience feels like they have a relationship with Alice.

While the film never soars to an emotional climax, it is still an achievement with its well-paced consistency for all of 100 minutes.

It is tricky to say if ‘Still Alice’ is Moore's all-time best performance, but it is indisputable that her talent is a force to be reckoned with, and that an Academy Award for her work is long overdue.

'Still Alice' opens 5 February 2015

Movie Photos

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Still Alice
  • Still Alice

    (2015)
  • Rated
    PG13 /
    Genre
    Drama
  • Language
    Eng
  • (2 Reviews)