Julianne Moore tops the list of this year’s best actress Oscar contenders for her work in the drama Still Alice, in which she plays a woman facing a shocking diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. You can watch the trailer, a Yahoo Movies exclusive, above.
The actress has earned four previous nominations, beginning with her playing porn star Amber Waves in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 film Boogie Nights. For Moore, who recently turned 54, that prior recognition doesn’t make the buzz building around her Alice performance any less sweet. “I feel lucky,” a beaming Moore told Yahoo Movies over the weekend. In fact, Moore was unsure if the movie — which was shot last March — would even be released this year. “I was just in the middle of my research [for the movie] this time last year, so I feel astonished that it happened and feel grateful that people are talking about us,” she said.
As seen in the trailer, Moore plays Dr. Alice Howland, a renowned linguist and happily married mother of three. Her life starts to slip away as her mind begins to deteriorate, with devastating effects on closest relationships. Moore praised Alice co-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland for how they chose to present her character’s condition. “It was so unusual for me to see a disease depicted completely subjectively, from the patient’s point of view,” said Moore. “This is really her story from the inside.” And, of course, she relied on her own research: “I didn’t want to depict anything onscreen that I hadn’t actually seen. Everything that you see — all of the actions, all of the reactions, all of the things that are physicalized — were all things that I had observed.”
Beyond the fact that the movie came out so quickly, Moore says she also feels lucky that the studio behind the Hunger Games: Mockingjay series, Lionsgate, allowed her to spend time away from the big-budget production to shoot the indie film. “I was booked on that movie [Hunger Games] for the entire year and this came up,” she said, explaining that Hunger Games producers allowed room in the schedule for her to shoot Still Alice. “I have a lot of gratitude to them.”
Still Alice, also with Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish, is in select theaters now and opens wide on Jan. 16.