Still Alice (2014)
Updated: Jul 17
Projectionist's rating: 7/10
This was a moving and uplifting evening, showcasing RCC’s own film – ‘Dementia and Us’. We were delighted to see so many in the audience who helped create it. The evening’s theme was put into a personal context by our organiser Eugene, who spoke about the medical condition and its impact on lives. Proceeds will go to Dementia UK.
The authentic power of the RCC film, where we saw community members speaking from the heart, inevitably meant that we saw Still Alice in a more critical way. We talked about the key messages. Loved ones grieved twice, once for the loss of the person the sufferer had become, as well as the final loss. There was also the touching way in which emotions are sensed and remembered more than events themselves. Both films communicated that love always remained despite the challenges.
Our discussion group shared our own experiences of dementia within our families. We found the family scene in Still Alice to feel very accurate. When her children are told about the reality of the condition, the range of responses and emotions hit the spot.
Julianne Moore’s Oscar winning performance was praised. She expressed the fear and confusion of ‘living in half a world’ of Alzheimer’s and the increasing sense of her deterioration. She carried what was perhaps a ‘made for TV’ type movie, superficial in places. One of our members found the scene where Alice gives a speech about her condition to be very stereotyped and a classic movie trope. We have all seen life-changing speeches in movies where the audience rises to their feet with tears in their eyes.
Alec Baldwin’s role as the husband felt underwritten and it was hard to know his motivation in continuing to work, refusing to take a sabbatical and moving his suffering wife further from her family. We felt that it did not show the stress of the carer, which some of us had experienced or witnessed.
Our discussion ended with an appreciation of the RCC film. It was ‘beautiful’ and it connected everyone in the audience with the theme. We volunteers could wear our shiny new badges with even more pride.