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Perseverance and Hope Take Center Stage in Michael J. Fox’s Compelling Life Story

MOVIE REVIEW
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie

    

Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 35m
Director(s): Davis Guggenheim
Where To Watch: premiering on Apple TV+ May 12, 2023


RAVING REVIEW: Get your tissues out and prepare for one of the most moving documentaries I’ve seen. STILL: A MICHAEL J. FOX MOVIE offers viewers an immersive experience of the extraordinary life of Michael J. Fox. This spellbinding film tells the story of an unassuming actor whose journey began on a Canadian military base and led him to the pinnacle of Hollywood stardom in the 1980s. The movie's blend of scripted, archival, and documentary materials provides an intimate glimpse into Fox's personal and professional life, focusing on his battle with Parkinson's disease, which he was diagnosed with at 29.


Fusing archival footage and reenactments in the film creates an engaging and entertaining experience, with some of the best reenactments I’ve seen in a documentary. The film spotlights Fox's undeniable humor, optimism, and inspiring resilience in the face of Parkinson's disease. To put this into perspective, I’ve been a massive fan of his for as long as I can remember, and I’ve followed his career and all the behind-the-scenes hurdles (good and bad.) I knew much about what was covered in this documentary, but I was still hooked from start to finish.

The film's editing condenses a treasure trove of information into an easy-to-watch 90-minute narrative. The movie traces Fox's formative years, his meteoric rise to Hollywood stardom, and several of his most memorable roles, like Marty McFly in BACK TO THE FUTURE. It also emphasizes his unwavering determination to succeed in Hollywood and his career-defining role in FAMILY TIES (the role that almost changed his entire career.)

Directed by David Guggenheim, STILL: A MICHAEL J. FOX MOVIE delivers an immersive exploration of Michael J. Fox's life, delving into his career, personal growth, and family dynamics. The film's authentic and heartfelt portrayal of Fox's battle with Parkinson's disease underscores his courage and hope in adversity. Guggenheim deserves so much credit for connecting with Fox on such a personal level. Seeing him laugh in moments that would bring others to their knees is very telling. Guggenheim, who has a personal connection to Fox and is married to his BACK TO THE FUTURE co-star Elisabeth Shue, provided an intimate and intriguing glimpse into Fox's life, challenges, and accomplishments.

The documentary emphasizes that one's struggles should not define them but rather be embraced and owned, as shown in Fix’s struggle with acceptance of his diagnosis and the battle he hid while trying to keep it from the public eye. This inspiring theme showcases the indomitable spirit of Michael J. Fox and leaves a lasting impression on viewers. STILL: A MICHAEL J. FOX MOVIE is a poignant tribute to an exceptional actor, friend, father, and husband.

Throughout the film, Michael J. Fox candidly guides the audience through his life story, displaying sincerity, charm, and a touch of humor. His optimism and resolve remain steadfast, even when discussing the difficulties of living with Parkinson's disease. The film's message of perseverance inspires viewers to confront their challenges head-on.

Visually, the documentary features a striking combination of film and TV clips, newly staged scenes with other actors, and family photographs. These elements are skillfully interwoven, creating a cohesive and engaging viewing experience for the audience. Honestly, I could watch a film like this as a series; I hope this motivates Apple to tell more stories in this format.

The best part is that your fandom or even knowledge of Michael J. Fox shouldn’t play much of a role in your enjoyment here; this documentary is a remarkable tribute to one of Hollywood's most beloved personalities. A stunning and emotionally moving film, STILL: A MICHAEL J. FOX MOVIE, showcases the complex life of one of my childhood heroes. This creative documentary is worth watching, primarily due to the magnetic personality of Fox, whose charisma and determination continue to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide.

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[photo courtesy of APPLE TV+]