I can feel the dried tears on my face. My eyes are scratchy and my head is clouded.

I just watched the movie Still Alice. Julianne Moore plays a 50 year old woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It was such a beautifully made film and Julianne’s performance was one of the best I’ve seen. The supporting cast was also very good and the film brought me to tears many times.

It’s funny how films affect you. I once knew someone who said that she was never scared in horror films. She was trying to find a horror movie that would scare her. I, on the other hand, immerse myself in most movies. In fact, I think I generally immerse myself in almost every situation that I’m in. For a movie, I think you need to relate to the characters and their situations in order to have an emotional reaction like I had with this movie. In this case, it made me think about my own life, my family, my parents, my friends – this could happen to any one of us.

This woman was closer to my age than to either of my parents’ ages. She was a respected researcher, teacher, speaker and mother. And this happened to her. It’s terrifying. I’m sitting on a plane, hurtling through the sky at 913km/hr and I’m more terrified of some medical problem like this happening to me or to someone close to me.

The fact that this happens to anyone at all is sickening. It’s a terrifying disease – you lose so many things, but most of all you lose yourself.

Sorry for the sadness and melancholy. I’m just writing what I feel tonight. I’m exhausted from a long week away in a hideous hotel (faulty and noisy air conditioning, no car park, dirty room, dead spiders IN MY BED, live spider in the bathroom, bed like concrete). Anyway, in light of the topic of this post, a bad hotel is really nothing to complain about. I’m looking forward to my own bed at the end of this five hour flight home.

This is another piece I wrote while flying. About twoΒ weeks has passed since I wrote this, so the melancholy is long gone πŸ™‚

Have a great day, wherever you are.

Tomorrow is a brand new day.

x desleyjane

Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

39 replies on “Still Alice.

  1. What a candid and emotional post! I must admit that I can’t watch that movie because I fear the topic is too close to my experiences …but I know that it was a very important and honored film…. It’s interesting the comparison you make to you flying in a plane to fearing Alzheimer’s… We all have different fears and they’re all valid… Thanks for sharing this with us…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lia. I really felt like Logically I should be afraid of something happening to the plane but flying has become so common for me that it barely registers. Instead, this disease and others like it really scare me. Thank you for commenting and understanding. I can understand why the movie would be too close for some people, it almost was for me too. In hindsight, it probably was too close. Very sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, the fear of flying doesn’t stop me from doing so, but I admit I’m not comfortable in the air! It’s so interesting how fears affect us all differently…
        Have a lovely rest of your Tuesday and thanks again for bringing this film and important topic of Alzheimer’s to your post today..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You should read the book, Still Alice. It’s better than the movie. Although the movie wasn’t bad at all. Julianne Moore actually won her first Oscar because of it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It brought tears to my eyes. And, just like you, I started fearing what would happen if I, or a loved one, were ever diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. I realized that we don’t need horror movies, because we get plenty of horror in our day to day lives.

        Fun fact: Still Alice was originally self-published, but it garnered so much success that Lisa Genova, the author, signed a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Travelling’s not always as glamorous as it sounds – I’m glad you’ve had chance to recover your equilibrium. I’m more of a bookworm than a film buff, but on long distance flights I take the chance to catch up and watch a few. Most of them make me cry & then I have to sit there with tears pouring down my face, hoping nobody spots me. I haven’t seen Still Alice, but I’ll look out for it. You’re right – it’s a terrifying disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susan. Yes, I’m the girl crying on the plane too but I’m usually up the front so less people see me LOL. I used to be such a bookworm but I have lost my passion (patience?) for reading these days, which saddens me a little…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree. I tend to experience this more with books since I’ve realized that I don’t watch movies that often, but I definitely agree that the more you relate to characters and themes, the more affected you will be. I also hate watching horror films–I never do, actually, I think because I do find myself immersed in the situations and relating to the characters on a very human leve, regardless of how ridiculous the plot is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Britta. I was just commenting that it used to be books for me too but I don’t read as much as I used too. I love the feeling of watching a horror movie and being petrified – well maybe love is a strong word here, but there’s something thrilling about it. Although I’m becoming less tolerant of the gory stuff as I age and prefer a really good psychological thriller.


      1. Oh, I guess when I read this, I took it to mean you weren’t fond of scary movies either. Well, my bad! I do, however, totally understand that feeling of immersion and really enjoyed this post. πŸ™‚


        1. Aha! I’m a sucker for a good horror movie. I seek them out but when they’re starting, I always say to my friend – why are we here? This is a stupid idea. Let’s go home! I really dive right in! Thanks again Britta.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I read your article but I won’t talk about it since its all sunny again.but I totally love the picture, the colours are so inviting, reminds me of what Lucille likes to do to my aesthetic senses.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a movie I saw want to see, Desley, despite believing that I undoubtedly will react in much the same manner as you. So many of my aged parents’ friends have been afflicted and it’s devastating for them as lifelong friendships and memories are lost to this disease. Touching, poignant post that I think many can relate to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stacy. Yes it’s such a devastating disease. Even what general dementia can do is bad enough. I know a lot of companies are working on research to fight it, I only hope they figure it out soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Desley:

    At 68, I try to stay away from movies depicting death, fear, or poor health. It really hurts to see how a terminal disease can physically and emotionally drain every ounce of energy in a person.

    I’m a very emotional person. When I watch a film, and I do it quite often, I am conscious that it is a movie, yet the performances are so real, that after a while you are up there on the silver screen with the characters breathing their same air, feeling their emotions or their bliss. Yep, I also cry watching a movie.

    A movie which I enjoyed so much that I came to tears was “Out of Africa” brilliantly performed by Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. I will never forget this film. The same is true with “Lawrence of Arabia” played by Peter O’Toole and Omar Shariff.

    Presently I’m enjoying the episodes of “Call the Midwife” which depicts life in a poor neighborhood dubbed Poplar on the East End of London during the late fifties. There is so much love in those episodes, that you are inclined kneel down and thank the Good Lord for having a life.

    I really enjoyed your post this morning. Keep them coming.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Omar. I’m completely with you on getting inside the movie with the characters. Those are great and powerful movies that you’ve mentioned. I especially love Out of Africa as well. I think Meryl Streep is one of the world’s greatest actors. I have seen seasons 1&2 of Call the Midwife and I love it. I understand exactly what you mean. I must get the others – thanks for the reminder.
      Have a lovely evening.


  8. Thank you for this emotional review. I’m seventy, and I actually seek out depictions of decline as a way of being prepared. Donald Horne’s “Dying: a memoir” shows one of the ways I want to go – and I know I don’t have absolute choice! Thank you for adding “Still Alice” to my list – I haven’t seen it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much for this comment. I have not seen “Dying: a memoir”, I will have to keep a look out for it. You’re right, we often don’t have much choice. I’m impressed that you’re thinking this way, it’s quite practical. At 40, I’m still petrified of the idea. While the subject matter isn’t pleasant, the movie is beautifully done and puts you right in it. I hear that the book is even better – I’m planning to read it.


    1. Yep this one destroyed me. I’ve never watched a movie then written about it within a minute of it ending. This one made me pick up the phone and start typing. It was powerful. I’m not sure if the movie itself is that powerful but it just affected me hugely. I really related on a very basic level – I could be her. If you’re ok with emotional destruction for a couple of hours, go for it. Have you seen “My Sister’s Keeper”? I sobbed through it but it didn’t affect me afterwards like this one did. I don’t have kids so I guess I couldn’t relate the same way but my friends and I all bawled through the whole thing. I do love movies that make me cry πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I LOVE tear-jerkers, and yes I’ve seen My Sister’s Keeper (I’ve actually read the novel too), and yep it destroyed me.. Movies on these terminal illnesses just strike a chord with me because I’ve seen enough of these in my own family, so I can really connect to their pain and desperation. 😦 Maybe tonight I’ll watch Still Alice. I’m in the mood to feel a little emotionally vulnerable!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed your post too but not sure if I want to see this movie or not! Thanks for the honest review and telling us that it was written a few weeks ago so that we knew you were OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey I know what you mean, it is something that is real, something that is very possible and you can really relate, almsot the worst kind of horror story. Those ones where hands come off and run across the room don’t even touch the sides, it’s the real ones that do and sometimes the odd alien movie, but I guess even then you don’t quite know if they exist. Sorry totally going off on a tangent then from your beautiful post showing your open vulnerable and very true heart x

    Liked by 1 person

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