Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Movie Adaptation Review: Still Alice

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image source: here. edited by me.
MOVIE ADAPTATION REVIEW of Still Alice
Read my short book review on Still Alice by Lisa Genova
"I have good days and bad days. On my good days I can almost pass for a normal person, but on my bad days I feel like I can’t find myself."
This is actually not a new movie—it was released back in 2014, but I never got the chance to see it even though I really wanted to because I've read the book back in 2011. Then I recently saw this movie available on my flight from Auckland to Singapore, so I decided to watch it. It was a very poignant and beautiful movie. It's heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, and just gave me all the feels. I don't remember much about the details of the book aside from the fact that it's about a woman with Alzheimer's disease. And watching this movie kind of reminded me why I rated the book 5 stars back then. Okay, let's jump right in to my non-spoiling review for the movie adaptation of Still Alice.

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The story focuses on the life of Dr. Alice Howland; a woman at the age of fifty who has a loving husband, beautiful and successful children, and also an amazing career as a linguistic professor. After several unusual occasions in which she forgets a word and got lost when running around campus, Alice finally decided to go see a neurologist. Through several tests, the doctor finally diagnosed her with early onset familial Alzheimer's disease. And the story follows Alice's struggles in facing the terrible disease that slowly takes away her intelligence and most importantly, her memories.

I won't be making any comparison with the book because I barely remember the details. But there's actually not that much plot in the movie, because it just focuses on Alice's condition that gets worse each day and also what she and her family felt about the situation. It might sound boring, however I find myself fully immersed in the movie despite the lack of storyline and abrupt ending. Like I said earlier, it's poignant and beautiful—depressing yet uplifting as well.

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"I’ve always been so defined by my intellect, my language, my articulation, and now sometimes I can see the words hanging in front of me and I can’t reach them. I don’t know who I am and I don’t know what I’m going to lose next."
The best part about this movie for me is the casts. I really admire Julianne Moore's portrayal of Dr. Alice Howland, she totally deserves the Oscar award that she won through this role. At the beginning of the movie, I can just see her intelligence and confidence shining through her eyes. But as the story continues and time passed, Julianne Moore was able to clearly shows how much the Alzheimer's disease has changed Alice as a person. Even though I know it's just fiction, I can't help finding myself feeling sad for Alice as she's starting to lose her memory. It all just seems so realistic to the point that I almost forgot this is a fictional story.

Even though Alice Howland is the main focus of the story, the side characters also played a huge part in the movie. Alec Baldwin portrayed Alice's husband, John Howland, who's a physician. I love Alec Baldwin's portrayal of this character and the way he showed how much John loves Alice is just so lovable. The couple have to deal with arguments due to Alice's situation, but throughout everything John has been patient and caring towards his wife. Another important side character is Alice's youngest daughter, Lydia, portrayed by Kristen Stewart. I personally don't like Kristen Stewart's acting in the Twilight saga movies, but I think she did quite a good job in this movie. Not impressive, but good enough. Alice has two more children: Anna (played by Kate Bosworth) and Tom (played by Hunter Parrish), and both of them are gorgeous!


There are several scenes from the movie that left a deep impression in my mind. The first one is when Alice decided to record a video for her future self; for when she's not able to remember even a simple thing like her daughter's name. Not going to spoil anything here, but I'll say that it's a very heartbreaking scene to watch. It's even more depressing when she finally watched that video in the future :( The best part of this movie for me is Alice's speech about Alzheimer's disease that she's battling with. This scene made me cry, because it's sad but also encouraging. I love everything she said in that speech; about mastering the art of losing and also about the need to keep on living despite losing everything she holds dear in life. If you haven't seen the movie, I included a series of GIFs at the end of this review which is a a part of that scene. I do have more favorite scenes from the movie but I'm not going to spoil everything in this review :)
"My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I’ll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I’ll forget it some tomorrow doesn’t mean that I didn’t live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn’t mean that today didn’t matter."
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In my opinion, this is an amazing movie that was able to capture my attention the whole time I'm watching it. It really makes me want to reread the book and experience the whole story all over again. I am a little bit disappointed by the abrupt ending, but I think there's something beautiful and that simple scene. If you're interested to know a little bit more about Alzheimer's disease, this is a good movie to try and watch (or you can also read the book). Still Alice gives a good picture of what a person with Alzheimer's disease has to go through. And lastly, I'd like to give a standing ovation for the people behind this movie for successfully adapting Lisa Genova's work to life :))

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"I’m still alive. I know I’m alive. I have people I love dearly. I have things I want to do with my life. I rail against myself for not being able to remember things - but I still have moments in the day of pure happiness and joy."
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by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

2 comments:

  1. One of the biggest difference i noticed is technology, the book's timeline is in 2003-2005, so Alice didn't have an iPhone, WWF, Skype, and MacBook. Also, in the book she eats ice-cream, but in the movie she eats fro-yos

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I can't even remember the details of the book xD

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