I wasn't sure what to expect from 'Still Alice'. Apart from the fact that Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her acting in it, I knew little about the subject.
Then she, as the titular Alice, a linguistics professor, missed the word 'lexicon' while giving a lecture and I realised what this was about. I know people with the disease that Alice suffers. I've seen what happens when it begins to take away the memories, the thoughts, the connections that we define ourselves by.
What an absolutely brilliant performance by Moore! To play a character with such natural empathy (not, let it be noted, sentimentality), to excite not our pity but a deep sorrow, to portray a person so defined by intellect and achievement that when that starts to fade away she struggles to identify herself...that is when you know you're seeing not a star, but an Actor.
Alec Baldwin is excellent, Kate Bosworth is restrained and Kirsten Stewart is...err...wooden, but that's all right, she's playing a struggling actress and she does struggle to act, so that's actually quite clever casting.
It's has been a week since I saw the movie, but the images of Alice still haunt my thoughts. We define ourselves so much by the things we achieve; our performance, our awards, our professional reputations, that we forget that it is relationships that keep us going, the bonds that we have built that sustain us when we no longer remember who we are, that it was love - the last word in the film - that kept her, Still Alice.