Rob Reviews "Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie"
Looking at the resume of Davis Guggenheim, his specialty seems to be episodic television and documentaries. Having worked on projects like Waiting for Superman, He Named Me Malala, An Convenient Truth, Melrose Place, and The Shield, he understands tackling serious issues as well as the dramatic elements necessary to convey those issues to both the big and small screen. He has combined both of those elements into his latest effort, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie.
What on the surface is a documentary about the life and times of one of my generation's greatest and most widely-love talents becomes something so much more. Although I have not read it, I feel that this film could be a great companion piece to his autobiography, Lucky Man, in that he tells his life story in a way that doesn’t seem rushed to cover the material necessary to understand his journey through superstardom and his struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. but doesn’t feel dragged out either. I am also not sure which of the versions to consume first since most of it has been public knowledge for a number of years. Visually, it is honest and at sometimes uncomfortable to experience his world through things like taking a walk outside to appointments with his doctors and physical therapist while at the same time showing Fox as an inspiration to anyone struggling with anything that affects their daily routine.
My co-host, Alex Barnhill, sent me a text as he was watching this film to say he was already emotionally affected before the title card showed up on his screen, and I cannot disagree with him. Opening with the day in 1990 waking up in a hotel in Miami finding something may be wrong with him, this story grabbed me right away and held my focus from beginning to end. Now, this is the point in my review where I want to be careful in what I talk about and what I don’t. What I will say is that this story is told in a way that I am not sure I have ever seen before, and that is a REALLY good thing. Fox allows himself as he has in the last several years to be vulnerable and honest with everything he was thinking and feeling at each stage of his career while also recognizing the times when he was guarded and in his own head about how he thought his diagnosis would affect how he was thought of by his fanbase and even the press in general.
Although I would love to see Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie get a solid theatrical run and make a bazillion dollars, I am also glad this is getting released on Apple TV+. This film alone is worth the price of a subscription (and trust me, there is SO much more quality programming available on this service), and the ability to watch it in the comfort of your own home or anywhere you are gives the opportunity to really focus on every aspect of this story with the right environment for you and whomever you choose to watch this with. I will say this: if you are an Academy voter, this film should be in consideration for Best Film Editing if NOTHING else and trust me: there should also be a LOT of other things it should be in the conversation about when it comes to award season.