Films can evoke many emotions and lots of us seek support and shared experiences through them. If you’re caring for someone who’s living with a form of dementia, there are several great films that explore the subject of Alzheimer's disease and dementia with grace, dignity, and realism.
Here are our three top picks:
Away From Her (2007)
Julie Christie was Oscar-nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of the main character, Fiona, a woman living with Alzheimer's who voluntarily enters a care home to avoid being a burden on Grant, her husband of 50 years. Grant visits Fiona and finds that her memory of him has deteriorated and that she's developed a close friendship with another man in the home. Grant draws upon the pure love and respect he has for Fiona to choose what will ensure his wife's happiness in the face of living with the condition.
Still Alice (2015)
Still Alice shows the affect that early-onset Alzheimer’s can have on a person and their family, through the eyes of Alice, the woman living with the condition. Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a prominent linguistics professor who starts to forget a few words. When she receives the diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's, the bond between Alice and her family is tested. Alice’s struggle to stay connected to who she once was is heart-breaking, yet inspiring. This film beautifully captures the frustration, the fear and the anger that can come with a dementia diagnosis. A good film that depicts the need for developing empathy and understanding of what loved ones are going through.
The Savages (2007)
The Savages sets out to help us see the lighter side of the dementia, with Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman playing siblings caring for a parent living with dementia. A rare combination of humility, dignity, and humor. Laura Linney was Oscar-nominated for Best Actress, Tamara Jenkins was Oscar-nominated for Best Original Screenplay, while Philip Seymour Hoffman was Golden Globe-nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance as the neurotic professor who begrudgingly unites with his sister for the sake of their father.
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