Monday, September 7, 2015

Book vs. Movie: "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova

I just finished watching "Still Alice" on Netflix for date night with my husband, and while I thought the movie was good and Julianne Moore's acting was fantastic, overall the book comes out on top in my mind.  Amazingly, my hubby agrees!  Here are three reasons why I think the book version of "Still Alice" beats out the movie version:

1.  There was a lot more information in the book.  

Movies usually leave a lot of stuff out, and I suppose it's a time issue.  Still, there are many things/scenes from the book that left a big impact on me, and I wonder if those were originally filmed and then cut for time.   For instance, I remember laughing while reading the section in the book where Alice wanted to get changed for a run, and tried to put a pair of panties on as a bra.  She laughed at herself, but her husband got all upset.  Well, there was a scene in the movie where Alice/Julianne opened a drawer to pick out an outfit for her run, and I thought, "Oh, this is where she's going to get a pair of panties stuck on her head!"  But then...nothing.  I thought that was a missed opportunity on behalf of the filmmakers, and that was just one instance I noticed.

2.  Two of Alice's children, Anna and Tom, were very underdeveloped.

When Alice tells her children that there is a test to determine whether they are a carrier of the gene for Alice's particular type of Alzheimer's, each of the three children have a decision to make.  This really struck a chord with me while reading the book.  What would I do in their shoes?  

In comparison, the movie seemed to just brush over this whole conflict.  Anna called Alice and they had a brief conversation about what Anna and her brother and sister had decided to do, but that was it.  I think if I didn't have the previous background from the book, I would have missed the whole importance of that conversation.  Fail, once again, for the movie version.

3.  Kristen Stewart's acting.

I'm not a hater.  Really, I'm not.  I thought Kristen did a great job as Lydia, except for in the scene when she was up on stage acting in a play.  It was seriously painful to watch!  Even my husband commented, and he really likes her normally.  I think she would have been more suited to a contemporary, modern production rather than a historical play, in my honest opinion.

So if you love books, my advice is to go out and read "Still Alice" if you haven't already.  It's one of my top favourite books of all, and certainly an important book if you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's or another type of dementia.  However, if you hate to read, then go watch the movie.  I won't say you'll like it, because it is a rather sad story, but again, it's an important topic that everyone needs to know more about.  

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