Radiant in black taffeta on Guild Hall's stage after the movie Still Alice screened, Julianne Moore said the way you play a woman with degenerating early Alzheimer's is to reach for normality, for what she can remember. Even buffeted by family, a supportive Alec Baldwin, and daughters Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart, son Hunter Parrish, not to mention a house in the Hamptons, Dr. Alice Howland, a prominent professor of linguistics at Columbia, makes a wrenching journey toward not recognizing those closest to her. And she's only 50. The movie struck a chord big time in the Hamptons community.
At first glance, the subject would be perfect to screen for Alzheimer's support groups, but Moore under the direction of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland makes the film dramatic. The story is close to home as Glatzer, who is also co-screenwriter, suffers from ALS; some of his tests were similar to those taken by Alice.
This year, Julianne Moore's work in David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars, earned her the Best Actress Award at Cannes, and with Still Alice, this may be her year as "the season" heats up. Especially noteworthy is her relationship with her daughter Lydia, with Kristen Stewart effective as an aspiring actress who returns east to care for her mom. This is Stewart's best performance to date; Julianne Moore said she loved working with the young actress best known as Isabella Swan in the Twilight series.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.