Moore, Stewart make 'Alice' impossible to forgetLOS ANGELES — Good luck keeping it together during a scene in Still Alicein which Julianne Moore, playing a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, delivers a wrenching speech on the art of losing.
"I find myself learning the art of losing every day," her character begins, invoking poet Elizabeth Bishop and speaking to an audience of patients and doctors. "Losing my bearings, losing objects, losing sleep, but mostly, losing memories. … Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were?"
Weiter geht's nach dem *KLICK*.
Moore first shot that scene for the film (opening wider on Friday) alone on a large soundstage, with just a curtain separating her from the crew. "There was a big stage behind me and there was a curtain. And we did I don't know how many takes and they came out and they were all crying." She laughs. "I was so happy."
Married filmmakers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland crafted Still Alice in their own image: Glatzer was diagnosed with ALS in the past year. Instead of retiring, they chose Alice
"Here was this couple who had been together for 18 years and making a beautiful movie about what it means to be alive," says Moore. "They're working with people they want to work with. It's a really beautiful thing. It does help you put everything in the right spot."
Still Alice premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September and was immediately snapped up by distributors, who set the film on a fast track for release and into the Oscars race. It's a breathless pace for a film shot last March over just 23 days.
"I was doing Mockingjay, so Lionsgate very nicely gave me the month off to do the movie," says Moore, 54. "It was just an in-and-out kind of thing. It was fast."
Fast, and emotional. Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, chronicles the story of Alice Howland, a Columbia professor of linguistics and wife and mother of three who learns she has early-onset Alzheimer's.
It's a tale of caretakers, too. When Alice's husband, John (Alec Baldwin), ultimately bails, it's her aspiring actress daughter Lydia (Kristen Stewart) who moves from Los Angeles to New York to become her mother's primary source of comfort as she slips away.
With all she was exposed to with Still Alice, "now I get worried," says Stewart, 24. "My dad the other day couldn't think of a word, and it was something really simple, and I was like, that's weird. You should know that word!"
Moore dived into the role, visiting long-term care facilities and speaking to heads of Alzheimer's associations, researchers, patients and caretakers. She stresses that nothing Alice does on screen is made up; everything, from her movements to her speech patterns, was observed by Moore firsthand.
"I had that (cognitive) test administered by a neuropsychiatrist, which is really interesting and really extensive,'' Moore says. "You think, 'Oh, this test is not going to make me anxious.' But man: 'List 35 words, then repeat the words.' And then they'll give you another list. 'Now repeat the first list.' "
Stewart compares her co-star to "a surgeon, literally. I aspire to that. I want to be able to be in control and lose myself at the same time. She's so smart."
Moore, who picked up a best-actress Golden Globe on Sunday, is widely expected to earn her fifth Oscar nomination on Thursday.
"I think many people would be surprised to hear that she's never won," says Fandango.com Oscarologist Dave Karger, though she has received nods for Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far From Heaven and The Hours. "But that should change next month, since she is the clear front-runner to win best actress this year."
Glamorous red carpets and gold statues aside, for Moore and Stewart, Still Alice remains a constant reminder.
"I texted my mom on the way over here," says Stewart. "I literally just said, 'Um, incoming, package of love in the form of a text message, completely random but I love you, dude.' " Mom's reply? " 'Wow. That was really well-timed.' ''via USAToday / KStewNews
Moore nods. "I came home thinking, my God, what a lucky woman I am, what a great husband I have, what beautiful children I have. I value them, I cherish them. That's all this movie is about."