A movie review by Dr. George Ackerman
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023). Apple TV+.
The movie, “Still” featuring Michael J. Fox was outstanding, spectacular, and shocking all at the same time. Following his life story from the beginning struggles of making it in Hollywood to his current day struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
He is a hero and such a warrior to share his story with the world. His impact through this movie will provide more awareness than a single person can possibly do for all the other Parkinson’s warriors, caretakers and families that are affected by the disease.
From legendary performances like one of my first tv shows growing up, “Family Ties’ to one of the most famous top ten movies of all time, “Back to the Future.”
Hearing Mr. Fox tell his own story in his own words was like we were going through a journey of a lifetime together and back to reality in his struggle today with Parkinson’s.
It affected me personally, bringing back tough memories of what the disease does to a loved one, in my case my mother who passed away at age 69 in 2020 after a long journey and struggle through the disease.
The movie further shows his intriguing personality, lovable character, and just straight up amazing realness as a person. His storytelling ability despite the disease was breathtaking and unforgettable.
His love story with wife Tracy Pollan and support from his children is a special and intimate moment shared with us all. Taking us into his private life to express how critical the love of his family is through his battle with Parkinson’s and beyond is a support system unlike any other. She never stopped standing by his side for even one moment.
From his life as a young man to the day he was told he was diagnosed with PD. Then taking us through medical appointments almost documenting his inception of the disease to his current dealing with the disease today.
He was in his early 20’s when he had to discover more information but learned about the progression from his uncontrollable shaking to his hopes to originally hide his symptoms of the disease and take medications quietly so no one would notice. His appetite was nonexistent and coped with the news of the disease through alcohol, fear, and anger. Today he is 30 years without a drink and thanks his wife and family for his recovery.
Sharing his battle with not only the disease but also going public that he had Parkinson’s was life changing, heartbreaking but inspiring all at the same time.
Mr. Fox describes, and we see firsthand, his pain, frustration, and constant injuries due to the disease. The emotional and physical struggle as well as decline in health over his lifetime are all shown for the world to see. He is a warrior and through it all continues to make jokes and his amazing personality shines through.
He made us smile, laugh, cry but almost all instantaneously. I personally wish I could provide a cure and have my mother back along with all the individuals who have gone through this disease as well as those no longer here today.
He has shaped our world and through awareness and this movie the hope is millions more now learn about and have some understanding of the disease. This in turn may bring more awareness, more funding and more knowledge of the disease and methods to fight it.
Sharing his story has brought millions of volunteers and research through the Michael J. Fox Foundation has revolutionized awareness and raised over 2 billion dollars towards a cure.
So far there are no storybooks or Hollywood endings. Yet. We will never stop fighting, advocating, and hoping for a cure. Never lose hope.
The focus and shift in the movie from his upbringing to career but then instant switch to his battle today and throughout the last decade has been tough. It is also at times heartbreaking, but he takes awareness to another level by sharing his literal physical therapy sessions to his issues with balance, injuries, and today’s realities.
He states he feels like he “loses control.” From his battle back to his family life. He is truly a fighter and a warrior from his childhood to today he shares his life with us, and our heart is open in hope someday we can find a cure for Mr. Fox and so many others are fighting Parkinson’s today. We always also remember those lost due to the disease and struggle like my mother, but we cherish the time we had together but must continue to share stories, research potential cures, and support one another because we are all banded together… patients, family, caregivers… this disease affects each differently but we come together for one purpose. A cure.
Thank you, Michael J. Fox.
togetherforsharon™ In memory of my Mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman to voice awareness and hope for a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. http://www.togetherforsharon.com