Review: Still Alice

Give Julianne Moore 50 Oscars, please

You are unlikely to find a finer-featured, fairer face at the movies than that of Julianne Moore’s, or one with as much empathy and intelligence behind its freckles—so ably, Linneyian warm one moment and fiercely terrifying the next (that was her screaming “You suck my dick!” at a pharmacist in Magnolia). In Still Alice, she plays a professor of linguistics diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease (she is 50, Moore is 54), to the dismay of her children and husband (Alec Baldwin). Based on the book by Lisa Genova, adapted and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Still Alice follows her rapid disintegration with few movie tricks, using its greatest asset to the best effect: Moore’s face starts the movie with as much vibrancy and smarts as we’ve been seeing on her red-carpet journey to this weekend’s Academy Award—can you believe she doesn’t have four, let alone one of these yet?—and ends it slack and distant. We’ve watched Alice disappear. It’s a remarkable performance. Kristen Stewart, fresh off the weird festival entry Clouds of Sils Maria with Juliette Binoche, is just as good here as ultimately the only unselfish member of this disappointing family. But come and stay for Moore, an actor for this and all ages.

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