Alex Reviews "Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie"
“I didn’t know how to be still…until I couldn’t be.”
From the moment those words were uttered, I knew Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie wasn’t going to be a normal character study. No matter what your opinion is of Fox from his films, television shows, or charitable works while fighting an incurable disease, I have the feeling that you may not be prepared to watch this documentary. Simply put (and I am aware that I am not burying the close of this review): as soon as it drops on Apple TV+ on May 12th, this documentary NEEDS to be experienced.
This is by far the most intimate and revealing documentary that I have ever witnessed, telling Fox’s story beyond his struggles with Parkinson’s using a method by which the film is shot by Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, He Named Me Malala) that dances between a feeling that we are peeking behind the proverbial curtain seeing and a zoom call with a family friend. Captivating and engaging just in those current day shots, that feeling is heightened by showing past roles, archival footage, and interpretive shots weaved so perfectly together it shows why Guggenheim is among the best documentarians working today.
Fox is as charming and likeable as ever, but the way he tells his story almost beat me over the head that he is not the hero. To be clear here: it is never self-deprecating but always reiterates how hard he worked to be the success that others lifted him towards. It is a fascinating dance of a man facing unbelievable hardships, but never once does he show himself as a victim but from an angle of moving forward, even at his darkest points.
Being a lifelong fan of Michael J. Fox, the footage used from his many movies and television appearances after 1990 gave me a deeper appreciation of the man and what he dealt with to entertain all of us. As much as I would love to discuss what that means further, but I do not want to hinder the experience, even if the topic should be fairly obvious by this point. In summation, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is a heartbreaking, beautiful triumph about overcoming odds and fighting the direst of circumstances with hope and positivity, which is really saying something for a documentary in which our protagonist insists that he was the villain of his story far more than anyone will believe.