Still Alice is an independent film that brings us into the perspective of Alice, who is a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. It is a disease that commonly affects elderly, causing them to lose memories and self over time. There have been quite a few movies that feature Alzheimer as the main plot, such as Away from Her, and so how does Still Alice stands out among them? Well, let’s go deeper into the way the directors decide to film it.
The basic storyline is pretty basic, with Alice discovering that she is in the early onset of Alzheimer’s and we see her progress from bad to worse. Also typical scenes such as her starting to forget stuff and encountering difficulties in otherwise normal activities are shown for much of the first half of the movie. What makes this movie stands out, in my opinion is some great camera works and the cast actors. For the former, there are a few scenes of Alice running around the school and getting lost. The directors decided to use soft blur on all the backgrounds while only focusing on Alice, leaving her isolated from her surroundings. These shots perfectly capture the feeling that Alice must have felt when she knew she suffers from the disease. She becomes an outcast, slowly but surely, with her memories symbolising her blurred vision of the people and herself. Then, there are more scenes of her recording herself to remind her to take excessive sleeping pills to die peacefully in the beginning, which then she almost does it at the end. I love how the story makes use of technologies to handle the current situation, which not a lot of other films did. It also serves as a reflection and a sense of you talking to the future. She hopes to end her suffering while she can still remember, but I doubt she remembers it at the end, making it an irony, as the memory loss actually makes her forget to end herself.
Julianne Moore does a marvellous job in portraying her characters as someone who struggles to live with the disease. She creates such a believable character, making Alice looks genuinely real. Everything happens one at a time, which gives a sense of progression of her disease. She also does not change her persona massively like some other films which depict them as going mad/become total outcast. Alice goes through her suffering by using whatever help she can find, such as from technology through her phone. She is quite independent, though she still seeks help from others such as her husbands and also her willingness to tell her children regarding the genetic disease. It makes me pity her as I watched movie; I could still see her strong will to live, but the reality is cruel. The title ‘ Still Alice’ seems to be an indication that regardless of her losing memories and loss of oneself, nothing is truly lost forever, as read by one of her daughters from a book. She will still be Alice, and she can still feel the love from her family all the same.
One minor dislike I had is that there is not much conflict going on. Sure, there are some daughter-mother arguements but that’s it. She is lucky to have a family that still supports her and is willing to be patience. In the real world, such things are pretty rare and thus this film does not accurately portray how the side characters will act. Though, this allows the director to fully concentrate on Alice, which is really the stand-out among all of the characters by far. In fact, all of the scenes feature her and not one from other characters’ perspectives.