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Tag Archives: Julianne Moore

Still Alice

Alice Howland (played by Julianne Moore) has a very settled, happy life. She loves her work as Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University, her marriage is solid and she and her husband John (by Alec Baldwin), have raised three great children. Now adults, Anna (by Kate Bosworth) is married to Charlie (by Shane McRae), Tom (by Hunter Parrish) is a successful lawyer and Lydia (by Kristen Stewart) studies drama in Los Angeles. Alice starts to notice some weird things happening to her … just tiny things, but still … things that worry her. She forgets words usually second nature to her, then loses her way around Columbia campus, then forgets her son’s girlfriend – what on Earth’s going on?  Distraught with worry, she sees her doctor and after several investigations she is diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease – very rare in a person Alice’s age of early 50’s. Hugely distressed, she now faces the challenge of a terminal degenerative illness herself and the added risk that she may have passed it on to her children. Alice bravely steps along her significantly changed life path and faces her unknown future …

I can’t imagine what such a situation would be like to face – knowing that you are afflicted with a degenerative disease that will cause your memories to disappear more and more, until you don’t know who you are or what your life is. Also, that no matter what support and love you have around you, this will happen to you alone and nobody else will know how it’s affecting you. This would be tragic and a huge challenge for anyone. However … there’s something missing in this movie. The story is all there – and it’s interesting to watch this intelligent, ambitious, hard-working and successful woman face her illness and all that comes with that. But somehow the relationships, her portrayal of her own experience and the general mood just misses the mark for me. It’s not the deeply moving piece that I anticipated. Does Julianne Moore deserve the Oscar for this? I’m not sure – perhaps it’s that she is so good and so accurate in her portrayal of Alice, that she makes it look like nothing – perhaps that’s the answer. Alec Baldwin’s seems to be just “going through the motions” with his character, John, who appears superficial and almost extraneous to the story. Even the children’s experiences – each different, as is appropriate with people – are all weirdly and disappointingly distant. It is based on the novel “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova. Julianne Moore also won a Golden Globe, BAFTA and Screen Actors’ Guild award for her performance here. Well done, I guess.

Made in 2014. Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Movies

 

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Crazy Stupid Love

Cal Weaver (by Steve Carell) met his sweetheart, Emily (by Julianne Moore) when they were both only 15 years old. They married two years later and have been together ever since. Lately, Emily has been feeling a bit “jaded”, she confesses to Cal that she’s had an affair and they are heartbroken as they face their imminent divorce. Cal leave’s the family home and sets up a home on his own. He is distraught at this new life and drowns his sorrows at a “hip” bar, where he encounters Jacob Palmer (by Ryan Gosling), a handsome “man about town” who advises him in the art of style and dating in today’s world. Presently he learns to pick up women and his social life starts to get a bit busier. He stills pines for Emily and wishes he could see his family so much more.  Meanwhile, Emily is trying to move forward also. She is dealing with a love-struck teenage son, an affectionate work colleague and a group of friends who are supportive but silently judgemental. Suddenly, Jacob becomes hard to contact and Cal discovers that Jacob has succumbed to the very thing he has worked his whole life to avoid … he has fallen in love with Hannah (by Emma Stone).  This might turn the entire world of Cal and Jacob on its head … will Cal ever find happiness again?

This movie is all that … crazy, stupid and … well .. yes … lovely.  Even though it really is a straightforward rom com, it leaves the viewer with quite a warm feeling.  The comedy has a very quirky edge which makes it very entertaining. Steve Carrell brings a “little boy lost” effect to Cal, which could have the potential for utter irritation, but is actually quite endearing. Ryan Gosling is unashamedly there for “eye candy” and he totally delivers. His ‘womanising” character is almost believable actually, but of course we do learn that he is a real guy when he starts to open up to his love interest Hannah.  He and Carell make a great pair – their on screen partnership is effective.  I would like to see more of that. Emma Stone is better here than other performances I’ve seen.  There are great snippets – Marissa Tomei is very strong as one of Cal’s love interests. Kevin Bacon is also very good as Emily’s colleague, David. There is a good twist before the end, which I didn’t see coming.

They are all experienced and it shows. The timing of the comedy is great, it’s a smart and talented effort that only falters slightly at the end with some tedious comedy, but overall vey good and entertaining, well done.

Made in 2011.  Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Movies

 

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A Single Man

It is 1962 and George Falconer (played by Colin Firth) is a 52 year old British university professor teaching in Los Angeles. George is gay and eight months ago his partner of many years Jim (by Matthew Goode) was killed in a road accident. George is still in deep grief. At this time, being gay was not socially acceptable – a person could lose their job or shame their families if homosexulity was discovered, so life was difficult and cruel.

This story (an adaptation of the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood) tells of one day in George’s life. On this day he sets off for his work as usual, during the day he connects with his close friend Charley (played by Julianne Moore) who is also a troubled woman. On the same day, George also meets student Kenny (by Nicholas Hoult) and spends some time with him, feeling almost like a normal human being again. George’s grief permeates every scene and interaction he has in this story.

This movie is beautifully made and the design is immaculate (probably overly) – this is fashion designer Tom Ford’s first movie and his style sense is clear. Colin Firth’s performance is superb – he expertly portrays this man whose calm, controlled exterior hides an inner world of pain where he struggles to find anything to live for.

(Made in 2009)

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Movies

 

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The Kids Are All Right

Sometimes the label of “comedy” really mystifies me when it is applied to movies. This movie is an example.  Nic (played Annette Benning) and Jules (by Julianne Moore) are a long-term lesbian couple who each conceived one of their two children from the same anonymous sperm donor.  Nic is a doctor, she is an older, more practical and controlling partner in the relationship, whereas Jules (who has not yet settled into a career direction) prefers a less structured approach to life.  At 15, their son, Laser (by Josh Hutcherson), decides he wants to meet his biological father and persuades his 18 year old sister Joni (by Mia Wasikowska) to go through all the legal steps to find him. They have success with this and meet their Dad, Paul (by Mark Ruffalo), a still single restaurateur. The two women later meet him and they tentatively form an uneasy new group.

The film explores the relationships between all these characters – it includes betrayal, anger, pain and poignancy. I do question the presence of “comedy”, some of it is quite tedious – but I suppose it could be found laced through the realistic relationship between the totally different personalities of the women, the challenges of parenting and miscommunication with their teenagers and the the single 50 year old biological father caricature.  The performances are all great – the women play out the foibles of their relationship perfectly, the teenagers are typical and the father is a believable type of guy.

Yes, I’d say this movie is Alright.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Movies

 

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Chloe

Dr Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) is a successful professional who suspects her handsome husband, David (played by Liam Neeson),  is being unfaithful. In an effort to find out, she hires “Chloe” (played by Amanda Seyfried) a beautiful and enigmatic prostitute to try to seduce her husband to see if he will be tempted into an affair. Chloe reports to Catherine of several liaisons with David and the mental images provoke both confusion and fascination in Catherine. The story unfolds as Catherine’s suspicions and her distrust of David escalate into total hysteria and both her professional and personal life starts to become chaotic and unravel before her. Although Catherine tries to stop what she started, Chloe starts to play a more significant role in her life.

For me, there is something missing in this movie – the story is complete, but the mystery and suspense is not well developed and the characters are a little shallow. I don’t usually try to guess where a movie is going, but I knew where this was headed long before the story actually unfolded. It’s okay, but I’ve seen both Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in far better. It is relatively short by today’s standards too, just over 90 minutes.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Movies

 

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