STILL ALICE directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (USA, 2014)
This moving and sobering film is based on a bestseller by Lisa Genova. Her novel was initially self published after being rejected by numerous publishers who believed that readers would not be interested in such a depressing subject. Just goes to show what they know!
The movie vindicates Genova’s decision to choose a woman with an early onset of Alzheimer’s as a means showing the devastating effect of dementia on an active, otherwise healthy, individual’s life. This is a film about living with the disease rather than dying from it.
Catherine Shoard, writing in The Guardian, gets it spectacularly wrong when she says that the film “perpetuates the notion that dementia is more tragic when it affects the intellectual”. It does nothing of the kind.
The fact that Alice is a respected university professor of linguistics in no way suggests that the loss of communication would be any less devastating in a less prestigious job, as a film critic for example! Continue reading