Still Alice; The Cinematic Wake-Up Call to Alzheimer’s Disease

I watched this film on a whim, in the mood to make myself sad while moping around in pyjamas and stuffing my face with very cheesy pizza. I knew little to nothing about Alzheimer’s disease. I did not have family members affected, nor did I know any of my parent’s or grandparents’ friends with the disease. Now, I feel a little bit ignorant.

To put it simply, Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that destroys brain cells, causing a range of symptoms like memory loss. As the disease progresses, it becomes more intense, and people with this illness can forget the most basic of things, like dressing yourself and bathing.

pet-scan

This film is a masterpiece. Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, it is about a highly educated, extremely intelligent woman named Alice, who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She is a mother, a wife, a woman with a strong career and a lifetime of achievements, who finds herself slowly losing all of that. Played by Julianne Moore and joined onscreen by Kirsten Stewart and Alec Baldwin, Alice is struggling with a disease that tears people apart; those who struggle with it and those around them who can do nothing but watch their loved ones lose themselves.

751

Still Alice is a wake-up call to the reality of Alzheimer’s disease. You do not need to know much about the disease to understand it; the film teaches you. We learn with the characters and fight the battle with them. It is a heart wrenching watch and a fitting tribute to those fighting this disease. As sad as it may be, it also fills us with hope; one day people may not have to ‘master the art of losing’ like Alice is. The most beautiful aspect of this film, is the constant reminder that although Alice is ill, she is still human and she will try with every might to live life to its fullest potential.

An outstanding film with fantastic acting, you are guaranteed to be left in an emotional state after this film. Check out the trailer below!

Daddy’s Home – Film Review

It’s a mild evening, mild and surprisingly dry- a nice change from the relentless storms and flooding that my country has been dealing with this unfortunate winter. Two days into the new year and I’ve made it my goal to catch up with old friends. What better way than to enjoy a cinema date? Personally I’ve always loved going to the cinema, despite the occasional bunch of unruly and rather irritating kids plaguing the back rows, and there’s always the presence of that one person who doesn’t shut up. Regardless, I love the cinema. There’s something pleasing about crying in a dark room full of strangers, at an unfortunately fictional character and his woeful sufferings. Or is that just me?

applauding_audience_web1

Tonight however I would not be crying- I was seeing Daddy’s Home, a comedy about two fathers, one biological and one a stepfather, battling it out for their children’s love. It features both Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, two well regarded and very talented actors. Ferrell in particular is known for his partaking in comedic films, such as Elf and Anchorman. However Wahlberg has acted in a variety of genres, including the serious (and absolute tear jerker) The Lovely Bones.

daddys-home-new-poster-2015-comedy

Despite the film’s trailer being entertaining, I will admit I was slightly sceptical of whether I would enjoy this film or not. Sadly, I am not a big fan of comedy films. However, this film has really opened me up to the genre. It was absolutely hilarious! Ferrell and Wahlberg are a dynamic duo, giving the audience several laugh out loud moments. I giggled for almost all of the film, with some scenes actually bringing tears to my eyes from laughing so much.

giphy

Hats off to Wahlberg and Ferrell, for such an entertaining and enjoyable film. What is most pleasing about this movie is that it brings a warm, loving message about loving your children, be it biological or simply a step-parent relationship. Out of five stars, I personally rate this film a solid 4 stars. From pleasant acting with hilarity throughout, to the respectful shout out to the more diverse families that we are seeing in society, this film was fantastic and I’ll definitely be watching it again.

[Watch the trailer below!]

“Escobar: Paradise Lost” Review! – Over Four Stars! ★★★★

With “Escobar: Paradise Lost” finally being released in select American cinemas and both Josh Hutcherson and Benicio Del Toro doing press interviews to talk about the film, it was time for your everyday film enthusiast to sit down and give this film a trial run.

This movie, directed by Andrea Di Stefano, takes place in 1980s/1990’s Colombia, during the terrifying reign of the infamous drug trafficking lord Pablo Escobar (played by Benicio Del Toro). It tells the tale of Canadian Nick Brady (played by Josh Hutcherson), who has moved to Colombia with his brother Dylan (played by Brady Corbet) to set up a surf shop. Whilst there, he quickly meets and falls in love with scary Escobar’s young niece, Maria (played by Claudia Traisac), and gets pulled into the family business.

Although this film only received 2 and a half stars on Rotten Tomatoes and an average of 3 stars by other film critics, I fully believe that this Indie film is an exciting watch and well worth the just over 2 hours it takes to watch it. Hutcherson has put his whole heart into this role, making it one of his best performances yet, as he plays the young, impressionable Canadian who wears his heart on his sleeve.

As we are well aware, the real Pablo Escobar was a terrifying and very dangerous man, with huge a huge influence over Colombia. Although he did do a lot of work for the poor, using his own finances, the money was earned through extreme drug trafficking, with anyone who did not agree with Escobar, disposed of quickly. Del Toro brings this character back to life, portraying both his charitable side and dark, scheming side with excellence.

Although this certainly is not a film for the younger viewers, I’d certainly recommend it to the older generation. It is exciting and leaves the audience on the edge of its seat with its drama and action. Hutcherson has grown from his roles in teenage based films, and this is a new side to his career, something that I certainly hope to see more of. I give this film 4 & a half stars, as it is one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve watched so far!

Check out the film trailer below!