Still Alice

Rated 3.0

Julianne Moore plays Alice, a 50-year-old linguistics professor who learns she’s afflicted with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (and based on a novel by Lisa Genova), the film presents itself as a stoic and compact family drama. Steering mostly clear of maudlin melodrama and tearjerker theatrics, it indulges those temptations (for which there are several opportunities in this story) only in carefully modulated (and almost minimalist) moments. There are several high-quality performances in the film—Moore as Alice, Alec Baldwin as her husband, and Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart as their daughters—and the Glatzer-Westmoreland drama is at its best when it’s addressing the tragic fallout for Alice’s family as well as for Alice herself. Since there’s a genetic element to Alice’s strain of Alzheimer’s, this drama also has its modern-day variation on the family curses that might have figured in the classics of tragic drama. That mostly unspoken “curse” lingers in the vicinity of nearly every scene in the second half of the film. Pageant Theatre and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13