i attended the AFI screening of 
today and find i have allot to say about this film.
first off i've known directors WASH WESTMORELAND & RICHARD GLATZER
 for many years.
i met richard way back in 1993 just after the premiere of his first feature~ GRIEF. 
when i began pre-production of my first feature film~ HUSTLER WHITE, richard said to me, "if you need any help at all, please let me know." a few days later wash westmoreland came to los angeles from leeds via new orleans specifically to work on hustler white. co- director bruce labruce had met him in N.O. and offered him a job. the night before production began richard invited me to his birthday party. being the professional i thought i was, i decided not to go and opted for a good nights sleep. 
i did tell the crew about the party and a few did go, including wash. well....  richard & wash met that night and were smitten with each other. so.... i guess i want to indirectly take credit for their meeting.
now about the film- 
STILL ALICE is a moving and thoughtful film.
 i love how there are no bells and whistles, just good story, good writing,  good acting, 
and good directing.
the directing is subtle. understatement works perfectly with the story's subject matter. 
with the topic of Alzheimer's there is no  need for exaggeration. 
no special effects, no hollywood exaggeration. Alzheimer's is dramatic enough. 
julianne moore is heartbreaking. she will win an oscar. kristen stewart, who i usually don't care for, 
is good in this film. i give credit to wash, richard & the writing for her performance.  she is herself. real and traumatized. 
alec baldwin and  kate bosworth are mis-cast, besides this the film has deep heart and soul.
 an honest account of a real family crisis.
recently richard was diagnosed with ALS. this is devastating news and my heart goes out to both my friends. they understand love and time stealing disease. 
this makes the movie stronger.

now to share my story....
about 12 years ago my sister & i noticed our mother was becoming befuddled. she would often seemed confused and repeat the same question. 
we had a chat and decided that i would accompany my mum on her next doctor's appointment. 
when i asked my mum about this she didn't understand why. i explained i had a few questions to ask her doctor. she reluctantly gave me the appointment date. it turned out to be wrong. i'm not sure if she did this on purpose or not. determined i asked to accompany her on her next appointment. when that day came, i called my mum three times to remind her to wait for me. when i got to my parents home it was raining. my dad greeted me at the door and said he had already dropped my mum off.  i was angry and asked the address of the doctor's office. my dad didn't want to give me the address, instead wanted to go to breakfast.  throughout my life both my parents have been known to be control freaks. i put my foot down and said to my dad, "al you need to listen to me. i know what i'm talking about. give me the address to bee's , (my mum) doctor... now!" 
my dad said, " you're making a mountain out of a molehill. you're being overly- dramatic." 
he reluctantly gave me the address.

 i arrived at bee's doctor's office. boy was she surprised...
somewhat annoyed and, i could tell, embarrassed.
i asked to speak to her doctor- dr. aben. in private i told him my suspicions. dr. aben said to me,
 " you know when people get older they don't remember things as well." i told him bee was always sharp as a tack, and never was confused in the least, until recently.  i told dr.aben that sometimes bee  asked the same question 5 times in a row.
dr. aben brought bee into his office and conducted a verbal test in private. he then called me in. 
to my amazement dr. aben said, " ok mrs. castro  i did a verbal test with you and you missed 20 out of 30 questions.  based on this i am diagnosing you with early Alzheimer's. there is no cure, but there is one drug that may slow the process down. i am writing you a prescription now. 
i was in shock. to have suspicions was one thing, to have a doctor confirm immediately was plain... startling.  
he gave me the prescription and i sat there trying to take in all that just went down. 
"dr. aben, i said, i don't think my mother understood what you just said." he turned to my mum. "mrs. castro , you have Alzheimer's. i have written you a prescription  for aricept.  i want you to take it every morning for the rest of your life."
bee just nodded her head. 
we left the office in silence. once in the car, i turned to bee, "i'm sorry bee, i'm sooo very, very sorry." bee looked at me confused and said, " dr. aben said that because you told him to. 
he only said that because you came all the way over here." my heart sank.  "no bee, i said, i don't have that power. i am not a doctor, he is, and your doctor said you have Alzheimer's. "
the look on her face broke my heart. "what will happen to me?" bee asked almost in a whisper. 
 i said to bee, " you've always taken care of me. will you now allow me to take care of you? 
bee looked at me in silence and sorta nodded. we just sat there in the car. my mother and i....
it was devastating.
i asked bee if she'd like to go to lunch or tea. bee replied, "i just want to go home."
we drove home in silence and i dropped her off with not too many words. 
a few days later i received a letter in the mail. it was a handwritten note from bee. 
i didn't save it, but i remember the gist of the letter. what it basically said was~
"who are you to tell me how to run my life, when yours is in such disarray."

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