|Julianne Moore in "Still Alice"|
Don’t you just love Julianne Moore? Her portrayal of an Alzheimer’s sufferer in *Still Alice not only won her the best actress Oscar, but helped millions of people better understand this devastating disease and its effect on countless families. Many of us are watching or have watched loved ones wrestle with Alzheimer’s and know the pain and frustration involved in the sad process. In the film, Moore’s character, a superstar linguistic professor, delivers a talk about her experience with early-onset Alzheimer’s – particularly devastating to someone whose identity was wrapped up tightly with her brain’s ability to function. In the talk she says, “I’m not suffering. I’m struggling . . . struggling to be a part of things, to stay connected to whom I was once.” To me, that line best seems to sum up the experience of Alzheimer’s patients and offers a clue about how we can more compassionately begin to understand the disease from the inside. Struggling to be a part of things, to stay connected to oneself. It’s all any of us really wants, isn’t it? That, and others’ compassion when we’re a little “off.” So, today, I join many of you in raising my glass in a lusty toast to Julianne Moore and everyone involved in Still Alice for shining such an insightful light onto this relevant issue. Cheers! And, Julianne, if you’re reading this (HA), congratulations from one of your many fans.
*Still Alice was directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland is based on the bestselling novel by Lisa Genova.