Focus World’s abrupt 2015 placement of Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” isn’t keeping Cannes Best Actress winner Julianne Moore out of the Oscar game. She’s back in the races with “Still Alice,” Sony Pictures Classics’ first TIFF buy and an awards usher for Moore, who plays a professor beset by early onset Alzheimer’s.
“Still Alice” reunites writer-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (“The Last of Robin Hood”) and it costars Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish and Kristen Stewart, for whom word is also strong.
Moore has been nominated for four Academy Awards for “Boogie Nights,” “The End of the Affair,” and both “The Hours” and “Far From Heaven” in 2003. In a not-so-competitive year entrance into the race is easier. She is ready to win her first Oscar.
SPC plans an awards season release for “Still Alice.” Reviews, and clip, below. Critics say this is a career-high for Moore, on the level of Todd Haynes’ 1995 “Safe” or his “Far From Heaven.”
THR: “With some five million Americans (and 36 million worldwide) living with Alzheimer’s disease, the warm, compassionate but bitingly honest “Still Alice” will touch home for many people. The toll the disease takes on the life of a brilliant linguistics professor is superbly detailed by Julianne Moore in a career-high performance, driving straight to the terror of the disease and its power to wipe out personal certainties and identity. Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, the screenplay is faithful to Lisa Genova’s best-selling novel which has a fan base of its own.”
HitFix: “Another Toronto debut, “The Theory of Everything,” has earned raves for Eddie Redmayne’s uncanny transformation into Stephen Hawking. Moore’s work here is just as transformative as Redmayne’s, but her arc is mental rather than physical. As anyone who has a relative or friend who has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease knows, the Alice we meet at the beginning of the film will not be the Alice we meet at the end. And because of that the film lives and dies on Moore’s portrayal. She succeeds smashingly.”
Screen Daily: As for Moore, this is one of her most complete, layered performances… “Still Alice” finds her again felled by an invisible malady — one just as frightening — and it’s interesting to note her ability in both films to elicit our sympathy so easily. Expertly modulating her facial expressions as Alice becomes more childlike as her disease advances, Moore externalises the character’s anger and fear, the sense that she can feel her mind going but can’t reverse the damage. But at the same time, it’s not an overly showy performance: There aren’t a lot of for-you-consideration grand dramatic scenes, a modesty that makes Alice’s slow descent all the more painful and human.