The following is a list of movies with dementia and Alzheimer’s in the story lines starring favourites like Julianne Moore, pictured above.
When you want some warm feelings about the emotions that others are going through, step up to the silver screen, from Sarah Polley’s award-winning Away From Her to the 10-hankie weepie The Notebook. And there’s more out there! (Don’t be afraid to send us your favorites.)
Still Alice (2015)
Directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer
This upcoming drama depicts the life of Alice (Julianne Moore), a university professor who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Lydia (Kristen Stewart), her youngest daughter, forms a closer bond with Alice once she learns of the illness.
The Notebook (2004)
Directed by Nick Cassavetes
The movie features Noah (James Garner) who is desperately trying to rekindle his wife Allie’s (Gena Rowlands) memories of their loving relationship together. Noah reads to Allie, who is in a nursing home due to her Alzheimer’s disease, from a notebook detailing their history. Actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams portray the couple in their younger years. The film is based on Nicholas Sparks’s best-selling novel of the same name.
Away from Her (2007)
Directed by Sarah Polley
When Fiona (Julie Christie), who has Alzheimer’s, willingly signs herself into a long-term care facility she does so in order to avoid becoming a burden on her husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent). But when Grant visits his wife of 50 years following a recommended 30-day separation, he notices that her memory of him has faded. Further, Fiona has established a friendship with another man at the facility. Grant must learn how to cope as he balances his feelings with his wife’s happiness.
Aurora Borealis (2006)
Directed by James Burke
Ronald (Donald Sutherland) is a grandfather who has dementia and insists that he can see the Northern Lights from his window. It becomes increasingly difficult for his wife Ruth (Louise Fletcher) to care for him so she hires a homecare aide, Kate (Juliette Lewis), and enlists their grandson Duncan (Joshua Jackson) for assistance. These difficult decisions become the focal point of the film as Fletcher’s condition worsens.
Directed by Richard Eyre
This film is based on the true story of British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch’s (Judi Dench) battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and the unconditional love and romance between Iris and her partner John Bayley (Jim Broadbent).
Still Mine (2012)
Directed by Michael McGowan
Craig Morrison (James Cromwell) has a mission: the 87-year-old New Brunswick farmer is determined to build a home that his wife Irene (Geneviève Bujold) can easily navigate as she starts to slide into dementia. The elderly couple find themselves fighting with local authorities as they embark on building a more suitable home.
A Song for Martin (2001)
Directed by Billie August
This Swedish movie with English subtitles is considered one of the most realistic representations of caregiving on film. Couple Martin and Barbara (Sven Wollter and Viveka Seldahl) meet and marry in middle age. Martin is a conductor and composer; Barbara is a violinist. Shortly after their marriage they find out that Martin has Alzheimer’s disease and fight to hold on to their relationship. The actors are also married in real life.
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