×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto: Julianne Moore’s Alzheimer’s Drama ‘Still Alice’ Explores Disease

The realities of Alzheimer’s disease and its effects on both the patients and their loved ones form the core of “Still Alice,” starring Julianne Moore as Dr. Alice Howland, a 50-year-old college professor who is diagnosed with Early-onset Familial Alzheimer’s.

Pic bows at TIFF today. CAA is repping U.S. rights, while Memento Films is handling international.

The drama is based on a 2007 novel from author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova, to which directors Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer said they responded strongly. “(We wanted) the audience connect to Alice throughout her intense emotional journey, and for this to happen, it had to ring true; every moment had to feel completely real,” they said. “Alice has … a rarer form of the disease but movies are often made about the ‘exceptional case’ and we hope this will still allow an emotional access to people with all levels of personal Alzheimer’s experience or none at all.”

Alzheimer’s advocate Maria Shriver served as exec producer for the film, the latest in a decade’s worth of her efforts to spread awareness of the disease through the media, including executive producing “The Alzheimer’s Project,” a four-part HBO doc series.

For Shriver, projects like “Still Alice” serve to help the public understand and interact with the disease, and can hopefully lead people to be more proactive about it in their own lives.

“This isn’t just a disease in the corner, this is a big deal,” Shriver said. “People will become more aware that this isn’t just something that happens to people who are ninety. This is happening to people all across the country to people who are in their 50s and 60s and with all the baby boomers.”

In order to play the role of Alice, Moore underwent a research process that she called one of the most fascinating of her career. She spoke with activists in the Alzheimer’s Assn., women diagnosed with similar early-onset diagnoses, and doctors and clinicians who diagnose and treat the disease, as well as visiting a long-term care facility for significantly declined patients.

She said she hopes people will empathize with and understand this woman as she struggles with a disease robbing her of her intellectual capabilities and tries to hold onto her emotional connections to her family.

“As she moves away from her intellectual capabilities, she moves toward a very distinct and very profound emotional connection, because that’s sort of what’s left,” Moore said.

More Film

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Steven Spielberg Remembers 'Friend and Early Mentor' Stanley Donen

    As news of the death of prolific director Stanley Donen spread Saturday, the industry was quick to remember the helmer of so many classic musicals. Donen directed such hits as “Singin’ in the Rain,” co-directed with and starring Gene Kelly; “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn; and “Charade,” with Hepburn and Cary Grant. “Stanley Donen was [...]

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Spirit Awards Online

    The Spirit Awards are taking over television Saturday from Santa Monica, Calif., but viewers don’t need a TV to tune in. Hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, this year’s Spirit Awards are set to air on IFC at 2 p.m. PT and again on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. However, indie lovers [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Take Center Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content