Still Alice

Synopsis: Dr. Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a renowned linguistics professor at Columbia University. When words begin to escape her and she starts becoming lost on her daily jogs, Alice must come face-to-face with a devastating diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As the once-vibrant woman struggles to hang on to her sense of self for as long as possible, Alice's three grown children must watch helplessly as their mother disappears more and more with each passing day.
Genre: Drama
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 32 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.5
Metacritic:
72
Rotten Tomatoes:
86%
PG-13
Year:
2014
101 min
Website
7,799 Views


INT. NEW YORK RESTAURANT - EVENING

In a fashionable uptown Asian-Fusion eatery, a birthdaycelebration takes place. At the head of the table is ALICE

HOWLAND, a woman who could be said to have it all: a high-

flying academic career, a successful marriage, and threehealthy grown children. She is whip smart, charming,

undeniably beautiful. To her right is her husband, JOHNHOWLAND, also an academic, a bear of a man with a gleam ofhigh intelligence. To her left is her oldest daughter ANNAHOWLAND JONES, a successful lawyer, and handsome husbandCHARLIE. One chair at the table is conspicuously empty.

ANNA (PRE-LAP)

Okay. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Anna hands Alice a gift-wrapped bag.

ALICE:

Is that for me?

CHARLIE:

Exactly, I don’t believe it. You

don’t even look forty, much lessfifty.

ALICE:

Oh Charlie, please - but thank you.

I appreciate it. Can I open this

now?

ANNA:

Yes, open it. Please.

Alice opens the present and gasps.

ALICE:

Oh! Oh I love it.

ANNA:

Oh good.

ALICE:

It’s so beautiful.

ANNA:

You can exchange it if it doesn’t

fit.

ALICE:

No, no, no. I’m not going to. I

absolutely love it. You always get

me things I love.

PINK PAGES 2

A smart young man bearing a resemblance to John rushes up.

This is TOM HOWLAND.

TOM:

Sorry I’m late..!

Tom kisses his mom on the cheek.

ALICE:

Oh hey!

Tom finds a seat.

ALICE:

Isn’t...um...Lisa coming?

TOM:

No, we split up.

ANNA:

Yes, I did notice that your statuspopped back to single...yet again.

He gives his sister a tight-lipped smile. Then, to Alice:

TOM:

I forgot your present. Left it in

my locker.

ALICE:

I just hope you didn’t spend toomuch.

ANNA:

Don’t worry, he didn’t.

JOHN:

Where have you been?

TOM:

The ER was like a madhouse. This

one guy came in - six stab wounds.

I swear one missed his heart by,

seriously, an inch.

ANNA:

No. Tom, it’s dinner time. Please.

TOM:

Not yet it isn’t.

ANNA:

Nearly.

PINK PAGES 3

JOHN:

So what kind of antibiotic do you

use..?

As John and Tom engage enthusiastically in a rehash of thepoor guy’s trauma, Alice turns to Anna and Charlie.

ANNA:

Mom, have you spoken to Lydia?

ALICE:

Yes. She wanted to be here

tonight, but she had a reallyimportant audition.

ANNA:

What for?

ALICE:

A guest spot on some TV thing.

Something Enemy.

Anna shakes her head.

CHARLIE:

Maybe this will be her big break.

ALICE:

Yeah maybe.

ANNA:

Don’t hold your breath.

CHARLIE:

Meow.

ANNA:

(laughing)

Stop it.

CHARLIE:

You two must have been somethinggrowing up. Why do I picture dollswith heads cut off?

ALICE:

No, my sister and I were veryclose, actually.

Charlie and Anna both look at her, a little surprised.

CHARLIE:

Oh...sorry...I was talking about

Anna and Lydia.

PINK PAGES 4

ALICE:

Oh my goodness, I don’t know why Isaid that.

Anna steps in to change the mood.

ANNA:

Well we’re here to celebrate you,

Mom. So Dad, what about a toast.

She turns to her dad, who is still rattling on about E.R.

ANNA:

Dad, a toast?!

JOHN:

Oh yes, yes, yes.

They raise their glasses.

JOHN:

To the most beautiful and the most

intelligent woman I have known myentire life.

ALICE:

Thank you.

EVERYBODY:

Happy Birthday!

INT. UCLA UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - CORRIDOR - LOS ANGLES - DAY

We follow Alice from behind as she walks down the bright,

broad corridor of the academic institution.

PROFESSOR JOHNSON (O.S.)

My name is Frederick Johnson, I’man associate professor of cognitivescience here at UCLA and I’m here

to welcome today’s speaker who hasjust flown in from New York.

INT. FUNCTION ROOM - AN HOUR LATER

A lectern has been set up in front of a projection screen.

About FORTY ACADEMICS are sitting, listening. Young,

confident, PROFESSOR JOHNSON is introducing Alice as shewaits at the side.

PINK PAGES 5

PROFESSOR JOHNSON

Now in my dissertation I spent

about a chapter and a half fairly

vituperatively citing today’s guest

and saying why I thought she was

wrong...

The audience laughs, Alice as well.

PROFESSOR JOHNSON

For the record, every time Alice

and I have argued, she’s right.

Alice Howland is the Lillian YoungProfessor of Linguistics atColumbia University. She famouslywrote her seminal textbook, From

Neurons to Nouns, while raisingthree children - I’m sure gettingmore than a few “Ah-ha” moments

from them - and it is now

considered one of the cornerstones

of linguistics education all overthe world. Please welcome...Dr.

Alice Howland.

Warm applause from the assembled. Alice takes her placebehind the lectern.

ALICE:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

She taps a computer sitting on the lectern. A photo of anadorable, bright-eyed baby comes up on the screen behind her.

She launches into her talk with great self-assurance.

ALICE:

Most children speak and understand

their mother tongue before they

turn four, without lessons,

homework, or much in the way of

feedback. How do they accomplish

this remarkable feat? Well this is

a question that has interested

scientists at least since Charles

Darwin kept a diary of the early

language of his infant son. He

observed, “Man has an instinctive

tendency to speak, as we see in the

babble of our young children.”

She taps her computer - a photo of Charles Darwin comes up.

PINK PAGES 6

ALICE:

Much has been learned since then

but today I’m going to show yousome recent studies from my lab inchildren between the ages ofeighteen months and two and a half

years.

She taps again - a picture of a toddler in a kid-friendly

lab.

ALICE:

Now, this might sound like it fallsinto the great academic traditionof knowing more and more about lessand less until we know everythingabout nothing.

(audience chuckles)

But I hope to convince you that bytaking these first baby steps intothe...

The smooth, assured flow of Alice’s lecture is broken - aword isn’t forthcoming.

ALICE:

Into the...

The audience waits patiently.

ALICE:

(deadpanning)

I knew I shouldn’t have had that

champagne.

An appreciative murmur. Alice takes a slight detour roundthe word.

ALICE:

...into the word stock of a givenlanguage...

(hits her stride again)

...we will learn crucial

information about the interaction

between memory and computation thatis the very essence ofcommunication.

INT. BLACK CAR -- MOVING -- LOS ANGELES

Alice stares out the window - something is troubling her.

She closes her eyes as if to squeeze out a thought.

PINK PAGES 7

ALICE:

(under her breath)

Lexicon!

Satisfied, she looks at a WORDS WITH FRIENDS game on heriPhone. Moving three letters, she forms the word “HADJ” on atriple.

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - KOREATOWN - LATE AFTERNOON

The black car arrives at a two-story run-down Seventiesapartment building.

EXT. SECOND FLOOR CORRIDOR

Alice exits the elevator and walks down the corridor of the

low-rent building. She passes a room where she glimpses afew young people hanging out listening to indie rock. A

little further down, she finds Lydia’s door.

Rate this script:4.0 / 3 votes

Richard Glatzer

Richard Glatzer was born on January 28, 1952 in Flushing, Queens, New York City, New York, USA. He is known for his work on America's Next Top Model (2003), Still Alice (2014) and Pedro (2008). He was married to Wash Westmoreland. He died on March 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California, USA. more…

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