Julianne Moore Plays Lead Role in Critically Acclaimed Alzheimer’s Drama

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by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Julianne Moore

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Julianne Moore

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Actress Julianne Moore is starring a movie about the struggle against Alzheimer’s disease, a drama about a 50-year-old college professor who is diagnosed with Early-onset Familial Alzheimer’s. In addition, the movie is looking to raise awareness about the disease and show what it measn to live with it. “Still Alice” is gaining critical acclaim in the U.S. and internationally from film critics and Alzheimer’s advocates alike.

Based on a 2007 novel written by the author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova, “Still Alice” is directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, who said they wanted the audience to “connect to Alice throughout her intense emotional journey, and for this to happen, it had to ring true, every moment had to feel completely real. Alice has a rarer form of the disease but movies are often made about the ‘exceptional case’ and we hope this will still allow an emotional access to people with all levels of personal Alzheimer’s experience or none at all.”

The executive producer of the film was Alzheimer’s advocate Maria Shriver, who for the last decade has been dedicated to raising awareness for the disease using the media, and who has also produced “The Alzheimer’s Project,” a four-part HBO documentary series. Shriver believes that projects like “Still Alice” are able to help the public to understand and interact with the disease, as well as develop proactiveness in patients.

“This isn’t just a disease in the corner, this is a big deal,” she said. “People will become more aware that this isn’t just something that happens to people who are ninety. This is happening to people all across the country to people who are in their 50s and 60s and with all the baby boomers.”

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Lead actress Julianne Moore underwent a rigorous research process to play the role of Alice, with the help of Alzheimer’s Association, women diagnosed with similar early-onset diagnoses, and doctors and clinicians who diagnose and treat the disease, as well as visiting a long-term care facility for significantly declined patients.

The actress said that it was one of the most fascinating investigational works of her career, and that she hoped people would empathize with understand the character Alice, as well as her fight against the disease. “As she moves away from her intellectual capabilities, she moves toward a very distinct and very profound emotional connection, because that’s sort of what’s left,” stated Moore.