It’s been a strange year for Julianne Moore. She shocked everyone (including herself) by snagging the Best Actress award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for Maps to the Stars then the film was horrifically mis-managed and handed off to Focus World (an off-shoot of Focus Features) for a possible 2015 VOD release. It’s still supposed to be getting a push for the Golden Globes but in reality Moore’s chances are all but gone.
But, possibly coming in to save her, and bring her back into the Oscar conversation where she belongs, is Still Alice, which just debuted at the Toronto Film Festival. The film, which was co-written and co-directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer (Quinceañera) from Lisa Genova’s novel, details the story of Alice, a Columbia University professor. She’s a married woman with three grown children and has just turned 50. When she starts forgetting basic words and vocabulary she has goes to the doctor and receives a devastating diagnoses; she has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The film also stars Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kate Bosworth, Kristen Stewart (who’s having a stellar year herself) and Hunter Parrish.
The raves are starting to come in, including this one from HitFix’s Gregory Ellwood (@HitFixGregory), that remarks the performance by Moore is reminiscent to her work in Todd Haynes’ Safe and her Oscar-nominated work in Stephen Daldry’s The Hours. High praise and high hopes in those words. Now, at this point, Still Alice has no distributor or release date so hopes for both of those to happen this year are slim. But, it could be picked up and given a proper release and Oscar campaign. Trouble is, most major studios have their Best Actress contenders lined up already. All but Sony Pictures Classics right now. They have their hands full on the actor side (in both Lead and Supporting) but nothing really for actresses. If they were to pick it up from the festival chances are it would be pushed to 2015 but at least it would be a studio with a solid history for good campaigns and wins (Cate Blanchett just won and that was SPC). And what about Lionsgate? Surely they can use some of their Hunger Games dough (which, incidentally, Julianne Moore stars in Mockingjay Part 1 this fall) to buy Still Alice and mount a healthy campaign?
Let’s get that prayer circle started, folks.
Here are some new stills: