Julianne Moore deserved her Oscar win as Alice in Still Alice. Based on the book by Lisa Genova, this portrait of an intelligent, talented achieving linguistics professor who learns she has early onset Alzheimer’s is devastating. We see Alice celebrate her 50th birthday with her loving family. Then we see her jog and lose her way. We see her in a lecture falter and stumble over words – and words are her trade, her specialty. She repeats herself, forgets her son’s girlfriends name at Thanksgiving, and repeats again.
Julianne Moore’s portrayal is reflected in her face. We can watch the flicker of confusion, the hesitation, and the despair. Alec Baldwin as her husband is dedicated and does a good job with his growing frustration and concern. The grown children all deal with the situation. The eldest daughter (Kate Bosworth) fears for her mother and also is worried about having children. The son does his best to help his father. Youngest daughter (Kristen Stewart) is pursuing acting, but does come home from Los Angeles to New York to be the at home caregiver. Stewart stretches in this role and is excellent as she asks questions, and truly touches her mother’s soul, even as Alice slips away.
Take tissues. There are so many moments that just break your heart. Tough movie on a tough subject, and yet deep deep within she’s Still Alice.