Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Growing up I was a fan of Michael J. Fox. I loved watching Family Ties and seeing what Alex P. Keaton was up to. I mean, who could not hear the song “At This Moment” and not think of Alex driving back to be with Ellen? The Back to the Future Trilogy cemented my fandom for MJF and these movies are ones that I always stop what I am doing and sit down to watch whenever they are on. I could go on and on about being a fan but we are not here to talk about me.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie delves into the career of Michael J. Fox. We learn about the beginning of his career and all of the struggles he went through before becoming the Michael J. Fox we all know. Davis Guggenheim does a fantastic job of blending re-enactments and footage from Fox’s movies to tell his story. The blend between the footage and the story, that Fox narrates, pulls you into his story. It is a great way to experience what is happening and the visuals definitely take you there.

One thing that we learn about during the documentary is the resilience that Fox has. He talks about how since he was a little kid he was always moving and even though he has this diagnosis he is not going to stop moving. We see this in the charities that he has created and the work he does to get funding for Parkinson’s research. Fox is doing everything he can to get the word out and get the needed support to find a cure for this disease.

The juxtaposition from seeing a young, energetic Fox to seeing a more somber one shows how this disease has taken its toll on him. During scenes with his trainer, we see that he struggles sometimes walking at a normal pace but through it all, he does not want anyone to feel sorry for him. He doesn’t let this disease change the person that he is and we see that in the way his family interacts with him. This message hits close to home because it is something I tell my son regarding his epilepsy. Do not let the disease define you. You define the disease.

Courtesy of AppleTV

Final Thoughts: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is a tough look inside one of America’s beloved actors. We get to see a different side of Michael before the Parkinson’s disease took place. Some people might not like seeing this side but it helps with knowing what he went through and is going through. Still gives us an intimate peek at how this disease has changed his life and how he is not letting it stop him. With perfect use of footage from his movies and television shows, David Guggenheim gives us a documentary that changes how you look at documentaries.

Kid-Friendly: Kids might know him from the Back to the Future Trilogy but this is a great watch for them. Through this documentary children can learn about resilience, being grateful for what you have, and how to not let success get to your head.

Violence: There is talk and footage of alcohol abuse.

The film, which incorporates documentary, archival and scripted elements, recounts Fox’s extraordinary story in his own words — the improbable tale of an undersized kid from a Canadian army base who rose to the heights of stardom in 1980s Hollywood. The account of Fox’s public life, full of nostalgic thrills and cinematic gloss, unspools alongside his never-before-seen private journey, including the years that followed his diagnosis, at 29, with Parkinson’s disease. Intimate and honest, and produced with unprecedented access to Fox and his family, the film chronicles Fox’s personal and professional triumphs and travails and explores what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease. With a mix of adventure and romance, comedy, and drama, watching the film feels like … well, like a Michael J. Fox movie.

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