In order to get somewhat caught up on our movie list, my friend and I pulled a twofer last week. We saw Still Alice in the morning, and Birdman in the afternoon. It made for an interesting double feature.
Still Alice is almost a one person movie. Since the story is told from Alice’s point of view, Julianne Moore is in every scene. The supporting cast is excellent; yes, even Kristin Stewart. I felt bad for Hunter Parrish who played the middle child, Tom, because he didn’t have much to do. Even Jan Brady and Lady Edith Crawley get more love.
Michael Keaton is definately the star of Birdman, but his castmates each have their moments to shine. Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough need to do a comedy together like right now! Emma Stone gets better and better with every film. I have been a fan of hers since Superbad and Easy A, and hopefully some great roles will come her way since Jennifer Lawrence can’t be in every movie.
Some of my favorite scenes in Birdman were the ones with Stone and Edward Norton on the rooftop. I thought they had excellent chemestry together. They could be the next Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, in terms of working together.
Speaking of Norton, his role as uber Method actor Mike Shiner is one of my favorite parts he has played. It’s up there with the Scout Master in Moonrise Kingdom, and Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. Another great scene of Norton’s was when Mike wanted to go full Lars Von Trier with Lesley (Naomi Watts).
Some say that if you notice the score there is a problem with the film. You cannot help but notice the score in Birdman. To use a hackneyed cliche: It’s like another character. Antonio Sanchez wrote a great score, but it’s not one that you would want to listen to at a dinner party. I listened to it the other day while I was composing the first draft of my Birdman post, which probably explains a lot.
The Still Alice score by Ilan Eshkeri was barely noticeable, so it must have been good. Neither film received an Oscar nomination for film score; make of that what you will. There was one scene, I won’t spoil it, in which the score was reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann’s score for Psycho. Maybe it’s just me projecting, of maybe it’s because I received the Alfred Hitchcock blu-ray box set for my birthday. Who’s to say?
In my post on Birdman, I discussed it’s dreamlike imagery. Still Alice is less of a dream, and more of a nightmare. Or at least a fugue state, which it a term we all learned from Breaking Bad.
I am not a hypochondriac by nature, and I try not to be phobic, but Alzheimer’s is one the things I fear most. Certainly more than flying.