Watch This: Clip from Still Alice

Still Alice stars Julianne Moore as Dr. Alice Howland, a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words because of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The film is based on Lisa Genova’s 2007 bestselling novel of the same name.

Still Alice¬†will have a limited release in December, which means Julianne Moore will be in the running for an Oscar nomination for the film for 2014. The major release for the film will come in January 2015. There’s some talk that Moore might be nominated for an Oscar for Maps to the Stars for 2014. Two Oscar worthy performances this year! Those make for pretty good odds for Moore to win a long-deserved but illusive Oscar for 2014. She’s been nominated 4 times, but has no wins yet. I remember watching her back in 1999 in Cookie’s Fortune, thinking what an amazing performer she was. I think same thing every time I watch her in anything. She’s an enormous talent.

In Still Alice, the Howland family around Alice include her husband John (Alec Baldwin) and her 3 grown children: Lydia (Kristen Stewart), Anna (Kate Bosworth) and Tom (Hunter Parrish).

From mostly glowing reviews for Still Alice from TIFF, the film appears to be quiet and subdued, but honest and touching.

There isn’t an official trailer yet, but this brief clip was released. It shows something of the relationship between Alice and daughter Lydia.

I’ll be on the lookout for trailers and other information about this film as year’s end draws closer.

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Review: And While We Were Here

And While We Were Here is set on the Italian island of Ischia. It’s full of picture postcard views and gorgeous scenery. The film stars Kate Bosworth as Jane, Iddo Goldberg as her viola playing husband, and Jamie Blackley as a young American slacker Jane meets while in Italy.

Kate Bosworth and Jamie Blackley in And While We Were Here
Kate Bosworth and Jamie Blackley in And While We Were Here

Overall, And While We Were Here is subdued and reflective. Even the “fun” escapades Jane has with her young American are muted. The story, seemingly about a love affair, is really about loss and the letting go of loss.

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Jane and her husband are in Italy for his work as a musician. She’s writing a book about her grandmother’s experiences in World War II and listens to recorded conversations with her grandmother a great deal of the time. (The grandmother is voiced by Claire Bloom.) This couple have suffered several miscarriages. They are still hanging in, still care for each other, but the marriage isn’t working.

The young American lover is merely a way for Jane to accept the inevitable consequences of her losses and move on with her life. He’s a way to unlock from the past and move toward the future.

As the film ended, I decided I would give the film a rating of 3 out of 5 stars, meaning it was worth watching but not fabulous. Then the credits rolled and Jennifer Warnes starting singing “Famous Blue Raincoat” and the whole story suddenly made sense. It was a movie version of “Famous Blue Raincoat.” I looked the film up and, indeed, the writer and director Kat Coiro was quoted as saying that she was inspired by the Leonard Cohen song. This knowledge doesn’t make we want to improve my rating, but it certainly puts the film into context and deepens my understanding.

If you enjoy introspective films that unfold slowly and deal with human efforts to “go clear,” you will enjoy this film.

Here’s the trailer.

The film was released in 2012. I found it on Netflix, so I’m sure it’s available on other streaming services as well.