This wasn’t a book I was planning on reading nor a movie I was planning on watching. Yay for book clubs. The copies we got from the library were movie-covered copies so I realized immediately that there was a movie with Julieanne Moore. I’m a big fan of hers so I was excited to jump in and see the character she brought to life for an award.
Things I Thought Were Awesome
Alice’s change. Seeing her change, the physical aspects of it, was really jarring. It was most obvious when she watched the video she’d made before the illness got really bad. The calm collected, rational Alice on the computer was so different from the frantic, slow-speaking Alice watching the video. It really brought home for me how life-altering the disease was. The last scene particularly was heart wrenching.
Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me
Alice looked completely different. Genova describes Alice as having short, black, curly hair several times and I thought this would bother me as I watched the movie but I was really OK with it.
Tom having a bigger role. After Tom tested negative, he didn’t have much of a role in the book. The focus was on Alice’s relationship with Lydia and Anna’s struggles accepting her future and raising a family. I liked that movie Tom came back for Alice’s speech as her main support system. That gave him a lot more standing.
Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why
The support group. I thought Alice’s support group showed really well that her decline was faster than most and highlighted her change as compared to others. It was really powerful to see Alice organize a group of people who suffered from the same disease and see them all come together in such a way.
Things That Changed Too Much
Jack. In the book, he was obviously trying to cure Alzheimer’s and spent a lot of time away from Alice for research and to escape the pain it caused him to watch his wife change. He was a lot less sympathetic in the film where he seemed removed and self-centered with no major pressure to try and cure the illness stealing his wife from him.
It’s been a while since I could read and watch the same story so immediately. In both the movie and the book, this did feel like it was more about raising awareness for Alzheimer’s than it was about the story. There were a lot of elements that highlighted the disease as a whole and though there was a ton of focus on Alice, I felt the amount about Alzheimer’s treatments was a bit forced. Reader, have you see the Still Alice movie? What did you think?
Until next time, write on.