In "Still Alice," Julianne Moore is Alice, a renowned Linguistics professor at Columbia University. She has recently turned 50, has three grown children, a successful and supportive husband, and a beautiful home. As the film begins, she is beginning to forget words, get lost in familiar places, and not remembering meeting new people. She soon learns that she has Early On-set Alzheimer's, a rare form of the disease. As the film progresses, Alice's condition worsens.
Julianne Moore is one of the best actresses working today. With superb performances in films such as "The Hours" and "Far From Heaven," just to name a few, it is extremely hard to believe how long it took her to win an Oscar; however, I am glad that she won for this film. It is hard to believe that this is just simply a performance and not a real demonstration of a person with Alzheimer's. Her performance is so deep and so real, it is almost as if you are watching a documentary of Alice's life. Every facial expression, every struggle with words her character exhibits-Moore's performance is the real deal. There is a particularly heartbreaking scene where Alice forgets where the bathroom is, ultimately wetting herself after running back and forth through the house. The pain and heartbreak in a moment like this is conveyed to near perfection by Moore.
Another performance in the film worth noting is Kristen Stewart's. What I think people fail to realize that outside of "Twilight," Stewart is actually a really good actress. In "Still Alice," she is wonderful as Alice's somewhat rebellious yet loving youngest daughter. You can see that while her character does not always agree with her mother, the love and sympathy is there, brought beautifully to life by Stewart.
I highly recommend watching this film with a box of tissues nearby. I do not believe I have cried this much in a film where no one dies. While it is certainly a depressing film, it is a terrific film worth seeing for great performances (particularly by Julianne Moore, very deserving of her Oscar) and its realistic portrayal of Alzheimer's.