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Archive for the ‘MEDIDRAMA’ Category

Still Alice

28 Jan

Still Alice – directed by Richard Glazer and Wash Westmoreland. MediDrama. 101 minutes Color 2014.

★★★

The Story: A successful and happy career woman and mother of 50 falls pretty to early onset Alzheimer’s.

~

As I watch I think I shall go to the movies no more. They hold nothing for me but the spectacle of incompetence relieved occasionally by interludes of striking proficiency.

For this movie is so badly written the mind staggers from its dullness. No one talks like that. No one responds that way. The supporting actors are shocking in their misapplication of tears. You want to slap them sensible. Moreover, they have learned their craft by imitating the emotions of soap opera acting, instead of from themselves. Indeed the world in general seems to express itself nowadays in the style of TV emotionalism. Everyone weeps and grows angry in the jalopy of bad acting. The actors here – I shall not disgrace this page by naming them – have not the slightest idea of how to go about these parts. They slot-in their emotions as called for. They order-in their acting from Domino’s Pizza. For here we have another example of a writer directing actors in his own material. It is a disservice to humanity for directors to do this or for writers to insist upon it.

Perhaps they think they have as much to say as storytellers as Woody Allen, not realizing they are devoid of both his sense of humor and sense of humanity. Every actor in this piece, with one exception, is incompetent.

No, that’s not true. The tertiary character acting is excellent. Stephen Kinker, the neurologist, is excellent. And so is … oh, why bother! If Alec Baldwin is not miscast, then he is entirely to blame for his absence of depth and coherence. He is renowned for comic narcissism, so he has the selfish side of the character … but why go on? The husband is not selfish. The husband is connected to his wife and his career with the same sinew. Baldwin is so creaky in his craft, or lacking in actual compassion, that he produces unintended disgust and a nagging, baffled dissatisfaction.

The reason you go to this film is to see Julianne Moore. She is up for an Oscar, and she deserves one, even here, where the order of her big scenes is shot-gunned by the director/writer. She has beautiful legs, a beautiful smile, a sound and appealing femininity. And what we see here is a great actress making-do. I hope she wins for it. Because her not to have won it by now is just rude.

The film is beautifully produced. The New York street scenes convince. So do the Long Island beach scenes. So do the cottage scenes. The piece is perfectly costumed. Lit. Filmed. So you may think you’re not being cheated. Check it out. Forearmed.

 
 
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