It’s book vs. movie time. Today I want to write about the very moving novel (and the adaptation) Still Alice. Let’s see what I think about it!
Alice Howard is a smart and successful woman. She’s a university professor But when Alice approaches her 50th birthday, she starts to notice changes in her ability to remember. It turns out, she’s suffering from early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease…
I’ll begin with my thoughts on the book. Lisa Genova wrote a compelling novel that is absolutely haunting. I’ve read my share of horror literature but nothing has ever frightened me as much as this story.
Genova paints a picture of a bright woman who has to watch her mind change without really being able to do something. No matter how hard she tries, there’s no way of stopping the disease, all she can to is waiting and watching her abilities decline. The scariest part of it all is how relatable it is. It could happen to anyone. It doesn’t have to be Alzheimer’s, there are lots of diseases out there. Still Alice got under my skin, I swear even weeks after I finished the novel I would get the chills whenever I forgot something and started to wonder.
Let’s talk about the movie. It was a challenge to turn this story into a motion picture but I think it was done beautifully. First of all, they managed to preserve Alice’s dignity throughout the entire process. Yes, she is suffering but she’s a strong woman, a fighter. Julianne Moore gives a brilliant (and Academy Award approved) performance that burns itself into your brain. In general, the adaptation is very well done and true to the novel. However, the biggest difference is the perspective. While in the novel we experience most of Alice’s thoughts and feelings, the movie also includes her family and colleagues a bit more. You knew that they were suffering when you read the novel but now it’s more palpable. Even Kristen Stewart, who usually has the emotional range of an ice block, managed to touch me with her performance.
Still Alice is a gripping and terrifying story. It doesn’t matter whether you read the book or watch the movie, it makes an impression you will never forget.
Did you read the book? Watch the movie? Let me know in the comments what you think!