Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Movie Review: Still Alice

When an actor receives an academy award nomination, let alone a win, it sticks out in my mind and I feel like I need to take the time to see the movie.  Lucky for me, AMC was still showing this movie and I got the chance to drag my seventeen year old cousin to it.  I don’t know that I was in the right state of mind while watching this movie and while the entire 6-person audience, minus me, was brought to tears, including the aforementioned cousin, I found myself laughing at sequences that probably were meant to be gut-wrenching, which made my cousin imply I was cold-hearted.  Being a huge fan of Charmander, I find this hard to believe, but let us not digress.

The premise of this movie is based off of a book where a woman suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and how her family deals with it.  The hints are quite subtle, Alice forgets little things, words or locations of things, but the panic starts to set in at a rapid pace and it is quite clear that something is seriously wrong with her.  The story isn’t a new one, per say, but it was one that was compelling and terrifying.  The depiction of the fall into lost memory is horrific to watch.  The very idea of not being able to rely on your mind, your memory, is one I don’t want to imagine.  It is a literal case of not being able to trust anything.  At one point, Alice goes inside to go to the bathroom and can’t find it and goes in her pants.  I didn’t laugh here, but it was a sad state of affairs for any adult and I can’t imagine watching a loved one suffering from this.

The performances from the entire cast were on point throughout.  The somewhat supportive husband was just as frustrating to watch as the children who didn’t want to be inconvenienced greatly save for the youngest daughter, played by Kristen Stewart.  At this point I have to admit that part of my curiosity for this movie was the always amazing Julianne Moore and the unending praise I kept hearing about for Stewart.  I try to give all the kids of Hollywood (Twilight, Potter, etc.) the benefit of the doubt and Stewart has, by and large, been the best of the entire bunch.  A lot of criticism for her comes from her seeming to play the same role again and again.  I’d argue she doesn’t do that at all, but I need to see more of her work, which there is a lot to choose from.  She was in about 25% of the movie and the parts she was in had excellent foreshadowing and chemistry between her and the rest of the cast.  I continue to be impressed by Stewart and I want to see what more she can do as she gets more comfortable in her own skin.  I wish that Emma Watson or Jennifer Lawrence could execute these types of performances, but I have yet to see it from either, let alone any of the boys, like Dan Rad, who has a lot of growing up to do.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what had me so distracted throughout the movie that while others were brought to tears, I was amused, laughing.  Early on, the audience’s first view of Stewart, she is wearing a t-shirt with Snoopy on it.  Again, if you’re reading this, you know I’m a Snoopy fan too.  Yeah, I like a lot of cartoon characters.  I was just so amused.  After the movie was over, I realised there was more to the tee than just Snoopy and Woodstock.

Stewart in a Snoopy t-shirt

I’ve included a pic, but the text, I believe is: “Sometimes the donut dunks the bird” and the image is Woodstock in a coffee mug and the donut not in the coffee.  It is a really cute shirt, one I might need to find/acquire.  The movie is about life getting the better of a person, and in many ways, I’d argue that the t-shirt is foreshadowing what is about to happen to Alice as well as her daughter Lydia (Stewart).  Alice is overcome by life, just as Woodstock is overcome by the donut in the t-shirt.  My cousin thinks I’m over-thinking this, but I really think I’m onto something and hope that someone from the movie stumbles upon this humble blog and the wardrobe person realises that at least one person noticed the attention to detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment