Julianne Moore is a vision, and everything she touches seems to turn to gold. It's no surprise to me, then, that in the newest trailer for her upcoming film Still Alice, Moore is heartbreaking and beautiful. Still Alice is the story of Dr. Alice Howland, played by Moore, a cognitive psychologist at Columbia who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. Even that sentence is sad to type, so I'm not sure how I'll make it through the film, but I'm certainly going to try, because even in the two minute trailer, Moore is electric.
But she's not the only reason to see Still Alice. Even though David Edelstein loves to use a lot of big words that no one understands, I generally agree with his reviews, and he says of Moore in Alice: "For most — if not all — of the movie, we’re riveted on Moore’s face, simply watching her think." And if you've ever seen a movie with Julianne Moore in which you're NOT fixated on her face, then you're watching for the wrong reasons. I'm thinking particularly of A Single Man.
The supporting cast is promising, too. I'm bored by Alec Baldwin in the trailer, but I'm surprised by how much I like Kristen Stewart playing her daughter.
What's most interesting to me is how interested I am in seeing a movie about Alzheimer's disease, which I think speaks to Moore's talent. Reviews of the film are are careful to note how human of a story this is, focussing not just on Moore losing her memory and her motor skills but on the more elusive, amorphous questions about what makes us human, what makes us ourselves. It's something I think about quite a lot, and Still Alice looks like it handles that tenuous mystery beautiful. I'm not crying, you're crying.