Critics have lamented a shortage of great roles for women in the past year, but one of the standouts has been the now Oscar-nominated Julianne Moore in Still Alice, a film about a linguistics professor struggling with early-onset Alzheimer's.
This small film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where Moore's performance immediately sparked talk of awards. She has already won a Golden Globe for her performance.
While Alzheimer's attacks the mind, the directors of Still Alice, Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, are a married couple dealing with a disease that attacks the body. Four years ago, Glatzer was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He's continued to write and direct, even as he's lost the ability to walk and speak. Glatzer communicates now by using his toe to type on a text-to-speech app on his iPad.
Julianne Moore and Director Richard Glatzer
Photo by Jojo Whilden, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Glatzer and Westmoreland co-wrote the script for Still Alice, and this is not their first collaboration. They co-wrote and co-directed other films, including the 2006 Sundance award-winner Quinceañera. Westmoreland says he and Glatzer are still very much a filmmaking team even though their working process has had to change.
When we joined the couple in their Echo Park home, they reflected on the career trajectory that started with Westmoreland directing gay porn films and Glatzer working on Divorce Court, to now making stops on the Academy Awards circuit. They also talked about their desire to keep making movies, even as they continue to face major health-related hurdles.