The first really great documentary that I have seen this year is now on Apple TV + and features the story of Michael J. Fox and his battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is a 90-minute documentary from Davis Guggenheim that looks at the lifespan of actor Michael J. Fox, from a rambunctious child to today, a man struggling against his body and the tremors that come from his diagnosis. All in his own words.
Michael J. Fox shot to fame as the precocious teen Alex P. Keaton on the TV show Family Ties and became a massive movie star with his role in Back to the Future. His recount about the days of filming both of these projects was harrowing at the least. It was a fascinating tale of his early days in Hollywood and the constant struggles of trying to make a living as a young teen/adult.
These early stories were interspersed with imagery from the current day Fox, working with a physical therapist on his movement and walking, telling about times when he would fall or hurt himself.
The doc had an amazing style to it as well. With these details that were told by Fox, the film used images and scenes from past movies and show to illustrate the point being made by Fox and it was a perfect feat of editing. There were so many stories beautifully illustrated by Michael J. Fox’s previous film roles.
Still was both emotional for the viewer and inspirational at the same time. Listening to Michael explain his own feelings during the time when he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, yet battled to prevent his symptoms to be shown. His time hiding the disease from the public had taken a toll on the actor and caused problems with his family.
Yet, with the current face-to-face interviews conducted for the documentary, Fox showed his determination and his stubborn streak, as well as a sharp sense of humor.
This is a difficult film to rate because of the personal nature, but it was a truly well designed, well-structured documentary that reminded us all how much we loved Michael J. Fox and how important we find his story.