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  • Writer's pictureKane Vallance

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

A short kid from a Canadian army base becomes the international pop culture darling of the 1980s, only to find the course of his life altered by a stunning diagnosis. The actor who is an incurable optimist is forced to confront an incurable disease.

Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan 

I’m not a huge fan of documentaries normally; there have only been a few that have ever really grasped me, though this one in particular genuinely had my attention because of my admiration for Michael J. Fox. 

Back to the Future always has, and likely always will be, the film I’ve always stated as my favourite. In periods where I didn’t know what was, Back to the Future was my good old reliable answer, and even now I’ve seen many more films, it still remains as that. A huge part of my love for that film comes from Fox himself, he’s such a charismatic, likeable actor and a younger me looked up to him. He’s cool, he’s optimistic, he’s funny—I wanted to be him with everything I had. 

That optimism, I am beyond pleased to say, carries over to Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie. Through and through it’s just a delight, and Fox carries that with so much ease despite his disability. His voice carries us through such a hopeful, optimistic, thoughtful journey that makes you feel everything you should. 

I’ve prefaced all of this by saying how much I admire this man because at the end of the day there’s a major chance that the reason I’ve fallen so head over heels for this documentary is that—I have not a single negative thing to say about it. Thus far for 2023, this is my favourite of the year in terms of all new media. Although I don’t think that’s a bad thing to compliment the film on: at the end of the day the only people who watch this will be fans of Fox himself. So, if that’s such a big factor of why I enjoyed this thoroughly, then the film is simply doing exactly what it intends. 

It features a magnificent blend of archive and recreational footage that might not be anything groundbreaking, but finds itself utilised so well that I couldn’t help myself but feel so captivated by it consistently. Mixing such effective editing with such a touching story to make what often feels like a narrative picture until it’s broken up by Fox’s interview segments creates a unique atmosphere that wasn’t once disengaging for the whole 90 minute run time. 

It’s short and sweet, but doesn’t leave you without packing an emotional punch in the back half. The emotional core isn’t this jaw dropping, shocking revelation, but it’s one that is so real and tenderly told that I couldn’t help but get choked up at least once. 

By the time Still was over, I was in a better mood than I was before. It’s an inspiring, well shot, engrossing masterpiece of a documentary even though it doesn’t necessarily break the formula. If you love Michael J. Fox as much as I do, then you’ll love this “Michael J. Fox Movie”, but if not…you should. It’s utterly wonderful. 

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