The always extraordinary Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars, What Maisie Knew) rightfully earned an Oscar nomination for her revelatory performance as a renowned linguistics professor struggling with the effects of early-onset Alzheimerʼs disease.
The fact that Dr. Alice Howland (Moore) is a lifelong student of language and communication may give her a powerful resource in her fight against mental decline, but it also means that she has a uniquely troubling understanding of whatʼs to come. The poetic insight of Elizabeth Bishop — “The art of losing isnʼt hard to master” — becomes a painful everyday reality for Alice, as losing her way in the streets of Manhattan soon leads to greater, far more dire losses. But even as Aliceʼs life begins to drop away in pieces around her, her condition provides an opportunity to regain something else she had lost: her relationship with her youngest daughter, Lydia (Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria, On the Road), with whom sheʼs never seen eye-to-eye.
While never neglecting the deleterious effects that Aliceʼs condition has on her relationships with her husband and three grown children, directing duo Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (The Last of Robin Hood, Quinceañera) stay focused on Aliceʼs subjective experience of the disease, detailing her slow decline — and the inventive tactics she deploys to combat it — with both keen precision and affecting empathy. With Mooreʼs marvellous turn complemented by impressive performances from a top supporting cast (which also includes Alec Baldwin and Kate Bosworth), Still Alice will break your heart — but it will also remind you that love is all around you, still.
Julianne Moore guides us through the tragic arc of how it must feel to disappear before oneʼs own eyes, accomplishing one of her most powerful performances. —Peter Debruge, Variety