9001 Wakarusa Street, La Mesa, CA 91942

Staff Movie Review: Still Alice


Reviewed by Rosemarie Leenerts, Library Assistant

The 2014 film Still Alice explores the condition of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and how it will spare no one, not even highly intelligent and capable people like Professor Alice Howland.

In Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays the title character, a linguistics professor at an Ivy League university. Happily married, with three grown children and living in a stylish Manhattan brownstone, Alice begins to realize something is not right with her cognition: She misunderstands a conversation between her children at her 50th birthday party; and during a guest lecture in California, she struggles to search for a word on a subject very familiar to her.

Returning from the West Coast and well into a run on a path near her home and university one cold November day, Alice comes full stop. Spinning around, she searches for clues to remind her of where she is but recognizes nothing. When she eventually finds her way home after dark, she is distraught by what had happened. She then discovers she had missed dinner with her husband and another couple, plans she had been well aware of but that had completely slipped her mind.

Alice quickly begins to lose a grip on her world. Soon, she must recognize the reality that the renowned career and perfect family life she had forged is being cut short by a disease she has no control over.

Based on the novel of the same name by neuroscientist and author Lisa Genova, Still Alice (also starring Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart) is a realistic portrait of early-onset Alzheimer’s and the confusion, pain, and hopelessness that people with this diagnosis feel.

Rated PG-13, Still Alice is available to check out from Herrick Library in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, along with the following resources (* denotes ebook):

Newsletter Sign-up