Michael J. Fox gives an insight into his decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease in this inspiring documentary.
Michael J. Fox was riding high on the success of Family Ties, Teen Wolf and the Back to the Future franchise when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991.
Davis Guggenheim’s new documentary, STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie, charts the highs and lows in Fox’s professional and personal life.
Using a mix of archival clips, scripted elements and new footage, the film covers the beginnings of his career, his stardom in the ’80s, his diagnosis, and how he kept it a secret for seven years.
The clips from Fox’s films and TV shows are used in a really clever way. They are often employed to illustrate the actor’s narration, so if he talks about running, then we’ll see a clip of him running as a character in a project.
This old footage also helps to show how Fox met his wife Tracy Pollan on the set of Family Ties and how he tried to cover up his tremors during shoots so nobody knew about his Parkinson’s.
But the shining light of the movie is with the new footage showing Fox talking directly to the camera, at home with his wife and kids, going to appointments and working with a physical therapist.
If you haven’t seen the Canadian star in public for years, you may be shocked by his physical deterioration, particularly the way he walks.
His impaired balance and natural inclination to hurry means he often falls over and hurts himself.
Given what he’s been through, you might expect Fox to feel sorry for himself and be miserable in this documentary. He has every right to be.
However, his sunny disposition stops the documentary from feeling sad. He is so positive and is always making light of his lot in life.
These days, most films outstay their welcome and go on for too long. However, STILL is the opposite – it is too short!
The documentary is so eye-opening and interesting that it could have gone on way longer than 95 minutes. It felt like it needed to dig deeper into his charitable foundation for Parkinson’s research and his decision to retire from acting in 2020.
Despite skimming over some moments in Fox’s life, STILL is a moving and inspiring documentary that leaves the audience wanting more.
On Apple TV+ from Friday 12th May.
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