STILL ALICE

Directed by Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland

Portraying mental illness in cinema is always a difficult challenge for filmmakers, as you always run the risk of showing the character as unnecessarily disadvantaged, or defining the character entirely based on their disability. Still Alice had a great chance of falling into overly-sentimental territory, but Julianne Moore’s mesmerising performance keeps the film afloat. We stay with her for essentially the entire duration of the film, and watch as she tries endlessly to maintain her identity for as long as she can. The film doesn’t approach the narrative from a particularly subjective point of view: as an audience we feel more like a family member, watching someone familiar to us slowly disappear. If Julianne Moore should ever disappear in real life, the world would surely become a much darker place.

B

DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

Dallas Buyer’s Club is probably most well-known for the powerhouse performance of Matthew McConaughey. Well the hype ain’t for nothin: he absolutely commits to the character, flesh and bone. The rest of the film however, doesn’t quite match his tempo – it suffers from flat supporting characters and plot turns and set pieces which are less than original. Still a very interesting story, but not quite Oscar-worthy in it’s execution.

B