Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Still Alice, a new drama starring Julianne Moore. The sale took place as the film made its world premiere as a special presentation at the continuing Toronto Film Festival. Sony Classics plans to release the movie some time this fall, marking yet another entry for the 2014 awards season.
The film, written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (The Last of Robin Hood, Quinceanera), stars Moore as Alice Howland, a respected linguistics professor and happily married mother of three who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Early reviews for the title have been favorable, with Moore’s performance specifically being singled out. Deborah Young called it “a career high performance” in her review in the Hollywood Reporter. Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine), Kristen Stewart (also in Toronto for Clouds of Sils Maria), Hunter Parrish (It’s Complicated) and Kate Bosworth (Homefront) co-star.
Buzz for Moore’s performance in Still Alice has been deafening in the past few days, igniting a hope that the turn might make its way into the awards derby (Moore previously earned four Oscar nominations without yet netting a win.) Earlier in the year she turned in another raved-about performance in David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars, which may or may not actually be gunning for awards consideration this year (Moore won the Best Actress prize at Cannes this year for that role.)
Notable is the relative slimness of the Best Actress category from what’s been observed so far through the festival circuit. While the Best Actor race already feels extremely competitive with the likes of Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Bill Murray (St. Vincent) already sparking serious awards talk, outside of Reese Witherspoon’s performance for Telluride and Toronto entry Wild, little buzz has arrived as of yet. Moore’s performance in Still Alice at the very least, this early in the game, makes it a little more interesting.
No release date has been announced yet.