The Powerful Story Behind “Still Alice”

New York Times: ‘One of this year’s surprise cinematic success stories centers on the independent film “Still Alice,” which tells the tale of an Ivy League linguistics professor dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s. After going into the Toronto International Film Festival with no distributor and zero buzz, the film emotionally sucker-punched audiences and emerged with a deal from Sony Pictures Classics as well as forecasts that its star, Julianne Moore, who put in what critics described as a quietly devastating performance, could win her first Academy Award. Yet perhaps more remarkable is its back story. Based on a novel that nearly didn’t get published, the film was written and directed by the married team of Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer (pictured). Just months before embarking on the project in 2011, they were told by a neurologist that Mr. Glatzer’s increased slurring was not just a mysterious tic, but probably a symptom of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as A.L.S. and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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