Olivier Assayas seems to have taken more than a purely …
In the end, our bodies betray us. Most aren’t fortunate enough to go out on their own terms, but some are dealt a crueler fate than others. While most films treat Alzheimer’s disease with overwrought melodrama and naïveté, Still Alice stares unflinchingly into the abyss. Bolstered by a haunting performance from Julianne Moore and the focused storytelling of filmmakers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, this film has the raw power to simultaneously crush and rejuvenate your spirit. Painful, required viewing for life’s brutal training ground.
Based on a popular novel by Lisa Genova, Still Alice is a weepy portrait of a linguistic professor, Dr. Alice Howland, battling early onset alzheimers shortly after turning 50 years old. Boasting a cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Kirsten Stewart, Kate Bosworth and the always electric Julianne Moore, above all else this is a film that leans on strong performances. This is not a film about script, ideas or even direction, it is about the intimacy of faces and the passion of performers.
“Everything is hitting me at once,” announces Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche), just minutes into director Olivier Assayas’ English-language Clouds of Sils Maria. It’s a subtle line that quickly introduces us to the frazzled female headspace that Assayas and Binoche have jointly crafted in this Bergman-esque melodrama.
Olivier Assayas, especially with his previous Irma Vep, has had a keen awareness for this entity and how the actions on-set can serve as a sort of chamber drama in itself. With Clouds of Sils Maria, his vision behind this project becomes realized in the channel of Bergman by way of TMZ, a smartly composed dive into the role of celebrity culture and how it influences the films they inhabit.
Snow White and the Huntsman Written by Evan Daugherty, John …