Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie – Hot Docs 2023

Still A Michael J Fox Movie Hot Docs 2023
Makes great use of reenactments, archival footage, and film clips to tell the story of Michael J. Fox’s life and career, including his three decade struggle with Parkinson’s.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie – Hot Docs 2023

Release Date: May 12, 2023
Runtime: 01:35
Follows the life of beloved actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, exploring his personal and professional triumphs and travails, and what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.

reminisces about his career and the struggles of three decades of having Parkinson's in . Born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia, Michael J. Fox developed the acting bug at a young age, getting cast in his first role in the 1978 CBC sitcom Leo and Me when he was still in high school. Michael J. Fox soon moved to Los Angeles and struggled greatly for a few years before getting cast on the sitcom Family Ties in 1982. The success of the sitcom and film roles such as Back to the Future, Teen Wolf, and The Secret of My Success propelled Michael J. Fox to superstardom during the 1980s; however, that changed in 1991 when Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which would change the scope of his life and career.


Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie Synopsis

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is a biographical documentary about Michael J. Fox directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth). The film is built around a present-day interview with Michael J. Fox, who is now barely mobile with the advanced effects of Parkinson's disease, yet maintains an optimistic outlook on life with his wife, Tracy Pollan and their four children. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie utilizes a mix of reenactments, archival footage, and clips from the actor's films and TV shows to illustrate narrated passages from Michael J. Fox's multiple autobiographies. The film includes some big revelations, such as Michael J. Fox's initial decision to hide his Parkinson's, leading to declining reviews and a substance abuse issue. However, this life would bounce back when he decided to focus more on his family than his acting career, coming public with his diagnosis in 1998 and founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research the incurable disease.

My Thoughts on Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is more than just a story of an actor who rose to superstardom in the 1980s, saw a decline in the 1990s, and then settled into the man he is today. The film's title refers to how Michael J. Fox lacked the faith required to be still, even before his Parkinson's diagnosis, and he always counted on movement to get from place to place. Even though life gets much more difficult for Michael J. Fox, with the film showing his difficulty walking and the injuries he receives, the now-retired actor remains in relatively good spirits and still regularly cracks jokes.

While Michael J. Fox is the central focus of Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, the film also heavily focuses on how important a figure Fox's wife, Tracy Pollan, is to his life. The two met on the set of Family Ties and have been inseparable ever since. In fact, an ultimatum Tracy gave helped Michael J. Fox end his downward spiral into alcoholism in the early-mid 1990s, resulting from the struggles of hiding his Parkinson's from the world.

While Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie tries to maintain a positive outlook on Michael J. Fox's career, both before and after his diagnosis with Parkinson's, the film does feature some heavy moments, such as Michael J. Fox nonchalantly admitting to director Davis Guggenheim that he is always in immense pain due to his worsening Parkinson's symptoms. Even though at one point in the film Michael J. Fox admits that in 20 years, he'll “either be cured or be a pickle,” the film is ultimately a heartwarming look back at the career of this beloved actor.

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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