Where to start.
I think it holds up to the book. Of course, you are always going to miss the details and some of the nuances from the book in a movie but I think you could watch this movie and get all the horribleness there is in regards to Alzheimer’s and how it affects Alice and her whole family.
I think because I read the book first, I felt that the movie was rushed but again that is because the details have to be reduced in order to not have a 4 hour movie and trust me I could not watch 4 hours of Julianne Moore descending into Alzheimer’s. NOT that she wasn’t incredible and that this movie didn’t do this horrible disease justice, it did. I just could not watch it, it was hard enough in less than 2 hours.
Julianne Moore was stupendous as Alice. She portrayed the losing of her mind with perfection. After seeing Alzheimer’s in real life, I could see how she understood it all and knew how to portray it. It was devastating and truly hard to watch, which is a good thing in this case. Watching her not recognize her daughter after a play was heart wrenching.
Kristen Stewart was perfect as the daughter Lydia. I always find it interesting to watch actresses play actresses in shows. She was the perfect amount of anger, sadness, fear, and love that Alice needed and the movie needed. Kate Bosworth was ok as oldest daughter Anna. I was distracted by her harsh edges but then that is what they needed from her but I thought it was too over the top.
Alec Baldwin was good as the husband. He was cold and detached when needed and loving and soft when things got bad. He was definitely believable as Alice’s husband and caretaker.
The movie was beautifully filmed. You get the chance to be Alice a few times and kind of see what she is seeing/feeling. It is disorienting and works well.
I give the movie 3 paws and I say if you have to choose about book or movie first, I say read the book first and then also watch the movie. Seeing the book in front of you and seeing Alzheimer’s in front of you is quite a different experience than just reading about it. And I think they support each other to get their point across.