Michael C. here to sort out a few mixed feelings at the prospect of the impending Julianne Moore juggernaut. Let me cut to right to the matter on everyone’s mind and say that any Academy voter who checks a box for Julianne Moore for Best Actress next year will have no reason to feel anything but pride in his or her choice. Her performance as Alice Howland, a 50-year-old linguistics professor suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s is every bit as good as billed. But let us also acknowledge the plain truth that Moore’s work here is all the more impressive because she is doing the heavy lifting for a script and direction that are not operating at anywhere near her level.
To point out that there is little exceptional or even all that much better than competent in Still Alice outside of Julianne Moore’s performance is to risk coming off like some sort of stone-hearted gargoyle. Who doesn’t feel the urge to pull some punches when presented with such an earnestly good intentioned film? And that is to say nothing of the reluctance to rain sour disapproval down on the Best Actress parade currently gaining steam on its march toward the Oscar podium. Who wants to spoil a perfectly good Julianne Moore coronation? Not this critic. [More...]