Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a well-respected 50-year-old linguistics professor who, after a few bouts of forgetfulness, decides to seek medical help. Alice and her family are delivered a sucker-punch blow when it is revealed she has early-onset Alzheimer’s.
What follows is a heartbreaking battle to beat the unbeatable, as Alice fights to stay connected to the woman she once was through the use of technology and word games. While the emotional fallout and the toll it takes on her husband (Alec Baldwin) and their children are addressed, this is ultimately a film shot from the sufferer’s perspective, as audiences are put in Alice’s shoes and forced to watch the light fade from her face.
Still Alice has been described as “shockingly accurate” by those suffering with dementia and Moore’s performance has put her in pole position to scoop the Oscar for Best Actress at this week’s prestigious award ceremony, which is reason enough alone to go and watch the film. Just remember to take your tissues with you as there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
Playing it Cool
Chris Evans plays a screenwriter tasked with writing a romantic comedy, despite his own skepticism when it comes to matters of the heart. He meets a woman who causes him to doubt his stance on love, although she is already engaged, leading the pair to question whether a man and a woman can ever truly be “just friends”. The rom-com about writing a rom-com angle gives the film enough self-awareness to differ from the recent What If, which deals with the same theme, but Evans should probably stick to Captain America.
A group of high school students find and complete the plans for a “temporal displacement device” and set about toying with the recent past, only to realise that their hedonistic fun results in some devastating global ripples. As with most films dealing with time travel, the paradoxes are likely to make your head hurt, but Project Almanac offers a refreshing take on a familiar theme. The film plays out largely as a wish-fulfillment fantasy and there is little exploration into the origin of the device, which is perhaps an opportunity missed.
After a whirlwind marriage, George and Serena Pemberton (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence) move to the North Carolina mountains and forge an empire based on timber that manages to flourish, despite the Great Depression. However, they soon learn truths about each other that could threaten the stability of their relationship, along with all that they have built together.
Y’s Choice: The Lazarus Effect
From the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, The Lazarus Effect tells the story of a group of medical professionals who are experimenting with a serum that can bring the dead back to life. After successful animal trials, they are forced to jump ahead to human tests when one of the group is killed in a freak lab accident. However, they slowly come to realise that their experiment has opened a gateway to unfathomable evil.