"Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie"
An openhearted and darkly funny biographical documentary about the actor's fame, family life, and battle with Parkinson's Disease.
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Michael J. Fox has never been still. It wasn't until his battle with Parkinson's Disease that he slowed down and began living in the moment. "Still" follows Fox from a young, starving actor to his rise as Hollywood's Golden Boy. Why reveal his story now? He's aware that his world is getting smaller. "I like where my mind takes me, and I fear that going as well."
The documentary is comprised of crafty editing and no-filter reflections as it portrays the legend in his own words through clips of his career from "Family Ties," "Back to the Future," "Teen Wolf," "The Secret of My Success," "Spin City," and interviews throughout the years.
Wickedly funny and self-deprecating, Fox recounts his sudden rise to fame in the 1980s and the moment he fell in love with actress and future wife Tracy Pollan, who played Alex P. Keaton's girlfriend in season four of "Family Ties." His diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease at 29 years old left him depressed and battling alcoholism. Although the actor hasn't had a drink in 30 years, he reflects on the hard-partying and his struggle to get clean, "My first three years of sobriety were like a knife fight in a closet."
Oscar award-winning director Davis Guggenheim spent a year interviewing Fox for "Still" and observing his family life with Pollan and their children: Sam, 33; Aquinnah, 28; Schuyler, 28; and Esmé, 21. The heart of the documentary is his love story with Pollan, whose unwavering support leaves him speechless during a conversation with the director. When asked what she means to him, he falls silent, then gives one word: "Clarity."
The film goes inside Fox's therapy appointments with doctors unveiling the physical impairments Parkinson's has taken on him. He walks in a jerky saunter, trying not to lose his balance. But the charisma and charm that made Fox a star haven't diminished. Recovering from a stumble on a city sidewalk, he says to a passing fan: "Nice to meet you! You knocked me off my feet!"
The strength of "Still" is its vivid collage of interviews and footage that allow the actor to speak for himself. Fox approaches his disease as a personal journey to help others, refusing to retreat from life, "I'm still me people recognize, just me plus Parkinson's." In 1999, he testified before Congress advocating for more research and funding for treatment. Since launching the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000, he has helped raise $2 billion for Parkinson's research.
Now playing in theaters and available on Apple TV+.