Still Alice: An Abridged Script

FADE IN

INT. A RESTAURANT

JULIANNE MOORE is celebrating her birthday amid a happy circle of family – but she has a worrisome SECRET.

ALEC BALDWIN
(furrows brow, sets it on Automatic, does not change for entire movie)
Honey, it’s so wonderful that we’re all happily here being happy together. Despite my perpetually concerned look I, too, am happy. Let’s try really hard not to OD on happiness, so we can be happy for the rest of our lives.

JULIANNE MOORE
(after a beat)
Yes, dear. And it’s also great that we have three highly photogenic, smart and gifted children. Roll call, please.

KATE BOSWORTH
I’m pregnant! With twins by my gorgeous, uber-supportive husband.

HUNTER PARRISH
I’m a budding doctor. Also handsome enough to be a leading man.

KRISTEN STEWART
I’m the family black sheep – a term here, which means beautiful, feisty, and artistic. Right now, I’m the family’s biggest concern because I’m skipping college in order to try to become an actress. Of course, this means I won’t be a barista with debts, just a barista if it doesn’t work out, so it’s totally a sound decision.

JULIANNE MOORE
(after several beats)
We’ll argue about that later, honey. And I’m an accomplished, brilliant Ivy League professor, who has it all. Are you jealous yet?

HUBRIS
(snickers under breath in corner)

INT. A DOCTOR’S OFFICE

NEUROLOGIST
“OK, JULIANNE, after what you told me about experiencing recent memory loss, I’m going to perform a mental status exam. Also remember the name JOHN BLACK, too because I’ll ask you it later on.”

JULIANNE MOORE
No problem.

HUBRIS
(snickers a little louder; is ignored)

NEUROLOGIST
Where are we?

JULIANNE MOORE
In an Oscar-bait movie.  Just kidding!   In a doctor’s office.

NEUROLOGIST
Please spell supercallifragilistic.

JULIANNE DOES.

NEUROLOGIST
Now spell it backward.

JULIANNE DOES

NEUROLOGIST
Now, in the eponymous song, what comes directly after that word?

JULIANNE MOORE
Expeealadocious.

NEUROLOGIST
Exactly. Now what was that name I asked you to remember a few minutes ago?

JULIANNE BLANKS.

NEUROLOGIST
This is very worrying. You should not be experiencing such memory loss at age 50.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS PRONE to HYPOCHONDRIA
(start worrying about whether they may have Alzheimer’s, regardless of age)

NEUROLOGIST
I’m going to run some more tests. Next appointment, bring in a family member or friend, OK?

JULIANNE MOORE
If you insist.

SOME TIME LATER –

INT. BEDROOM

JULIANNE MOORE
Honey, I think I may have Alzheimer’s. I’ve been forgetting people’s names, need to check my phone to see my schedule, and sometimes think it’s Friday when it’s really Thursday.

ALEC BALDWIN
You’re joking, right? Everyone does those things. You’re a brilliant, accomplished professor, it’s normal to have a few lapses here and there.

JULIANNE MOORE
Yes, but I got LOST JOGGING ON CAMPUS. That’s different from forgetting the milk at the store, dear.

ALEC BALDWIN
Well, I’ll go into the doctor’s office with you, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

HUBRIS
(snickers audibly)

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE

NEUROLOGIST
JULIANNE, it looks like you have Alzheimer’s. Even though you’re relatively young, this is still possible.

ALEC BALDWIN
This is ridiculous. This is just temporary because she’s been so busy.

NEUROLOGIST
It’s likely JULIANNE’s estranged, alcoholic FATHER also had it before he died. It’s GENETIC, which means your children may want to get tested. Especially, your PREGNANT daughter.

ALEC BALDWIN
Well, don’t hold back, okay, just hit us with all the bad news at once.

NEUROLOGIST
Since you insist, I might as well add, JULIANNE, that although you’ve been doing a fine job fooling other people by camouflaging your memory lapses, with charm, self-deprecation and humor, I wasn’t fooled for a second. This has been going for much longer than you’ve been letting on to anyone.

JULIANNE goes home and makes elaborate PREPARATIONS to KILL HERSELF when she can NO LONGER REMEMBER ANSWERS to questions posed by her COMPUTER which raises INTERESTING QUESTIONS about the use of TECHNOLOGY to help people DIE with DIGNITY, or would, if it wasn’t handled later on in a TOTALLY ANTICLIMATIC MANNER.

EXT. PUBLIC STREET
PHONE RINGS

JULIANNE MOORE
Hello? Oh, hi, KATE. You’ve gotten the test results, and you’re POSITIVE, but you’re going to have the kids anyway? Are you…

KATE BOSWORTH
We won’t go there. Oh, and HUNTER is negative, and KRISTEN has chosen not to get tested. All of which would make GREAT FOOD for DEBATE, but is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.

By not brushing her hair, foregoing makeup and also by STELLAR ACTING, JULIANNE gives a poignant portrayal of a woman grappling with ALZHEIMER’S.

INT. HOME

ALEC BALDWIN
Where have you been?  It’s been ages, and I’ve been seriously worried.

JULIANNE MOORE
At PINKBERRY’s having product placement yogurt.

ALEC BALDWIN
We were supposed to have dinner with VERY IMPORTANT COLLEAGUES.

JULIANNE MOORE
Alzheimer’s, dear.

ALEC BALDWIN
(look of patient concern wobbles slightly, but holds)

JULIANNE MOORE
There’s got to be a silver lining here. I know, I’ll blackmail KRISTEN into going to college!

She TRIES this. It DOES NOT WORK. But she gets points for trying.

INT. HOME A FEW MONTHS LATER PRESUMABLY

ALEC BALDWIN
I got a NEW POSITION that’s crucial to my career progression, which requires that we move a million gazillion miles away. What do you think?

JULIANNE MOORE
What a supportive thing to do your suffering wife.

(pauses)
That was sarcasm, not Alzheimer’s.

ALEC BALDWIN
Of course, if one of our CHILDREN decides to pick up the slack and be your caregiver, we could STAY.

KATE BOSWORTH
Don’t look at me, I just delivered twins.

JULIANNE MOORE
I seem to recall that I have a son, too?

ALEC BALDWIN
Yes, but either he’s off doing doctor stuff or the script forgot about him.

KRISTEN STEWART
Oh, all right. I guess it’s up to me to rise to the occasion and DISPLAY COMPASSION and MATURITY.

She DOES.

INT. HOME

KRISTEN STEWART
Even though this must really suck for you, MOM, at least we can still enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Like Pinkberry’s yogurt.

JULIANNE MOORE
(after a few beats)
And love.

KRISTEN STEWART
You are so right. Love will see us through.

On this UPLIFTING NOTE, the movie ENDS.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s