Review: “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” is a Captivatingly Raw Reflection of a Movie Star

Equal parts career retrospective and raw look into the effects of Parkinson’s, Davis Guggenheim’s Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie provides a fascinating look at the life and impact of one of the world’s most likeable actors and personalities.

Featuring Fox as the narrator and sole interview subject, the film blends archival footage, home video, and staged reenactments to mark different chapters of Fox’s life and career. Additionally, the film documents Fox’s battles with his disease the impact on his life with his family.

The filmmakers are well-aware of what they have in Fox. Not only is his career and personality fascinating enough on it’s own, but his frank and honest assessment of his career and personal choices is refreshingly candid. Fox does not shy away from his diva behavior or his struggles with alcoholism. Instead, he views these times as missed opportunities to be a better person with a more abled body.

That is not to say he is a subject to be pitied. Fox is fully aware how uncomfortable people are when they see his mannerisms and especially his walk. He doesn’t expect to be pitied and doesn’t seem to want it either. He specifically expresses how much he loves his family for how little they pity him.

His family, specifically his long-time wife Tracy Pollan, is where the emotion truly comes through. Fox not only gets to relive his love story for the sake of the documentary, but his love, reverence, and respect for Pollan through today is ever apparent. Fox even shares levels of regret with how little time he spent with his children while hiding his diagnosis. He doesn’t languish on the regret, but does acknowledge his own faults in it.

Fox as a subject is always a treasure and a unfiltered. His comic musings about how messy his hair is or his frequent falls and injuries lends and air of relaxation that the film wasn’t automatically providing. Fox essentially gives the audience permission to take his disease with a lighter tone, despite being perfectly aware of the prognosis.

Guggenheim is able to squeeze some near startling revelations out of Fox as an interview subject. The actor freely admits he doesn’t expect to be alive in 20 years, but doesn’t approach that thought with fear. More of a stark reality. The director lets the camera linger on his subject longer than you would expect. This allows the audience the true insight into what Fox has to go through on a day-to-day basis.

For a film with this much backstory and focused on a single subject, this isn’t a puff piece or an info dump. Rather, it’s a look at a man staring something he didn’t expect in the face, and looking back on his charmed history with different eyes. You will be shocked at how much you see that you never thought to even look at.

Documentary success is bound by how interesting their subjects are. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie found the right subject at the right time, told in the right way. Highly recommended.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie streams on Friday, May 12th on AppleTV+
Score: 4.0/5.0

Review: Our Father
Oscar Blindspots: Passion Fish

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