Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Year: 2023
Production Co: Concordia Studio
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Producer: Davis Guggenheim
Writer: Michael J Fox
Cast: Michael J Fox, Davis Guggenheim, Tracy Pollan

You could never accuse Michael J Fox of being sentimental. In all his non fiction books he's never descended to self pity, and I've read his one stipulation about this film to director Davis Guggenheim was that there'd be no violins playing for him.

On screen, even with the tremors that affect both his movement and speech, Fox is the same self-effacing and funny guy he's been since he burst onto the scene to conquer Hollywood in the early 80s.

And if you're a fan of his, this documentary will tell you a lot, some of it that he's covered in his books, some he hasn't. It's told through a combination of a frank, straight-to camera interview with Fox (with Guggenheim asking question off screen), archive footage of old films, TV projects and interviews and fly on the wall depictions of pivotal moments in his life, with actors (including one playing him that's uncanny similar) portraying moments such as the morning he woke up in a Florida hotel mid shoot on a movie with a disquieting wiggle in his little finger...

You might know him as the Family Ties and Back to the Future guy, you might know him as the self-effacing Parkinson's sufferer, but Guggenheim gives you all of it. In fact there's more to his younger life and stardom than he's told you about in his memoirs, like how entitled and arrogant he was and how it nearly cost him his career and relationships more than once.

It's dignified and tragic, but Fox, even in the obviously advanced stages of a cruel and crippling illness that cost him his career, constantly struggles to force humility, humour and gratitude for what he has through. He (along with anyone else who has Parkinsons) never deserved it, but he seems like one of the few who can stop it dragging him into despair by sheer force of will.

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