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LOS ANGELES — Good luck keeping it together during a scene in Still Alice in which Julianne Moore, playing a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, delivers a wrenching speech on the art of losing.
“I find myself learning the art of losing every day,” her character begins, invoking poet Elizabeth Bishop and speaking to an audience of patients and doctors. “Losing my bearings, losing objects, losing sleep, but mostly, losing memories. … Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were?”
Moore first shot that scene for the film (opening wider on Friday) alone in a large soundstage, with just a curtain separating her from the crew. “There was a big stage behind me and there was a curtain. And we did I don’t know how many takes and they came out and they were all crying.” She laughs. “I was so happy.”
Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, the married filmmakers crafted Still Alice in their own image: Glatzer was diagnosed with ALS in the past year. Instead of retiring, they chose Alice.
“Here was this couple who had been together for 18 years and making a beautiful movie about what it means to be alive,” says Moore. “They’re working with people they want to work with. It’s a really beautiful thing. It does help you put everything in the right spot.”
Still Alice premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September and was immediately snapped up by distributors, who set the film on a fast track for release and into the Oscars race. It’s a breathless pace for a film shot last March over just 23 days.
“I was doing Mockingjay, so Lionsgate very nicely gave me the month off to do the movie,” says Moore, 54. “It was just an in-and-out kind of thing. It was fast.”
Fast, and emotional. Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, chronicles the story of Alice Howland, a Columbia professor of linguistics and wife and mother of three who learns suddenly she has early-onset Alzheimer’s.
It’s a tale of caretakers, too. When Alice’s husband, John (Alec Baldwin), ultimately bails, it’s her aspiring actress daughter Lydia (Kristen Stewart) who moves from Los Angeles to New York to become her mother’s primary source of comfort as she slips away.
With all she was exposed to with Still Alice, “now I get worried,” says Stewart, 24. “My dad the other day couldn’t think of a word, and it was something really simple, and I was like, that’s weird. You should know that word!” … (Kristen บอกว่า วันก่อน อยู่ๆ พ่อของเธอก็นึกคำพูดง่ายๆ ไม่ออก คำที่ Kristen คิดว่า มันเป็นคำพื้นๆ ที่พ่อต้องรู้ มันทำให้ Kristen รู้สึกแปลกและกังวล … ไม่นะ อย่าให้ PapaStew เป็นอะไรไปมากกว่าโรคร้ายที่เขาเป็นอยู่แล้วเลย)
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