Julianne Moore takes pains to portray early Alzheimer's

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:42am EST
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By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Early in the film "Still Alice," the Columbia University professor played by Julianne Moore is the picture of health taking a jog through campus, until she realizes she is completely lost.

Miniscule movements in her pale face betray the panic racing through her brain, but it will be nothing compared with what is to come for Alice, or for the audience for that matter.

At 50, the brilliant lecturer and beautiful redhead will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and the audience has a front-row seat to her terrifying decline.

The performance has won rave reviews and could bring Moore, 54, her first Academy Award. Last week, she earned a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a drama for "Still Alice" and another for comedy or musical with "Maps to the Stars," a rare double feat.

"Still Alice" is a small-budget film picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics only in September, thanks to Moore's award-winning potential. It opens on Jan. 16.

"I was really excited by the prospect of doing this part and movie because I had never seen Alzheimer's portrayed subjectively," the four-time Oscar nominee told Reuters.

"Generally, when you see these stories, they are from the point of view of the caregiver or family member. So to take this journey from the inside was really compelling."

The audience practically goes inside with her, knowing more about Alice's travails than her husband, played by Alec Baldwin, or the wayward daughter Lydia who comes home to care for her mother, portrayed by Kristen Stewart.   Continued...

Actress Julianne Moore arrives at the Hollywood Film Awards in Hollywood, California in this November 14, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/Files