Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023) -8/10
There’s so much to love here. It’s wonderfully put together. Telling Michael J. Fox’s story in his words, it melts archive, reconstruction and his rather prolific work output together with amazing effect. Michael Harte’s editing is brilliant, making even the darker moments a pleasure to watch. If you’re not warmed to Fox inside 5 minutes, there’s something wrong with you. Living with Parkinson’s, he’s the definition of resilience, hope, spirit and fucking genius comic timing. After stumbling in the street when someone recognises him, he’s getting off the floor as they sheepishly say “It’s nice to meet you”, not missing a beat he responds “You too, you knocked me off my feet”. Starting from navigating the pit falls of high school as the shortest kid in the class, to spotting the chance having joined the drama class to play roles younger than his age, he’s got an eye for opportunity. Packed with the confidence to make any situation work. It’s not all roses though, nothing handed to him on a plate. Hollywood is infamously harsh, but like I said, Fox is resilient. Or stubborn. Or maybe just able to suffer that bit more than most. It’s almost as if Fox has always had this burning desire to explore, create, tell stories, even now. He’s a workaholic or simply unable or unwillingly to let an opportunity pass. Famously doubling his daily workload to keep his commitment to the TV show Family Ties, whilst being headhunted by Spielberg for Back to the Future. Seriously impressive stuff and maybe that sums Fox up. Impressive. Really bloody impressive. Thrust into the limelight, the fame, parties, money and vices, he enjoys it… but understands it’s fake, transient. Parkinson’s thought is real. Devastating but real and it’s interesting to hear his journey with it. Trying to work through it, denying it, hiding it. The shock, his battle with alcohol. It never feels like a sad story though. It’s brimming with positivity and honesty. Being open about his fears and how his family and those around him help him to navigate a new life and fight for support for others facing this condition. There’s some great films in Fox’s catalogue, but this may well be the best yet.