I saw Still Alice a week ago, in the nick of time before Oscar night because it took forever and a day to get to Jacksonville, instead of, “Coming Soon to a Theater Near You”. It’s taken a week for me to find some words to describe it well enough to call the paragraph a review. Still Alice is devastating, a horror film for grown-ups because it centers upon something that truly frightens with plausible reality: losing ourselves to Alzheimer’s Disease. As far as films go, and performances, this is a liquid looking-glass portrayal, an image so translucent of what it must be like that the viewer is left breathless. Somehow, we are inside her. We are able to see and feel the sudden drop of vacant holes in her ability to Think and Know and Find. The process is terrifying. When the “something scary is about to happen” music plays, when Alice in her familiar home and can’t find her way to the bathroom, we too feel the spine tingling fear and suspense of the enemy that’s gaining ground. Alice is a physically healthy woman, still young, who does what she can to retain personal empowerment. There’s a scene where the Then and the Now are brilliantly portrayed and it’s piercing to realize how much degeneration has slowly taken place. If you see it, you’ll understand why there wasn’t a single other possibility for Best Actress this year. You’ll understand more about the human aspect of the disease than any fact sheet or documentary could show. You’ll get your money’s worth for the price of the movie and it’s not over doing to suggest you might live more for today as well. Side note on theaters: we saw this at the AMC, which now has real food, a “design your own” coke wall of machines, and a full bar, allowing us to sip an Old Fashioned from high backed reclining theater seats. Nice touch. #moviereview
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