Michael J. Fox is one of the world’s most beloved actors. Whether it’s in films like the Back to the Future franchise or in television like Family Ties or Spin City, Fox has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Even more impressive is his work within the Parkinson’s disease community following his diagnosis at 29. While he continued to do films and television shows at a lightning pace, he has since slowed down as the disease has made everything more difficult. STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie is an intimate look at his life and career through his own words. It’s an honest, raw, and emotional exploration of an actor at the high of his career and how Parkinson’s changed all of that in an instant.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Michael J. Fox, either on screen or in the news. In my mind I always see him as Marty McFly, rocking out with his guitar on stage or gliding down the street on his skateboard. In Davis Guggenheim’s documentary, there is no act or performance. It’s a honest and open Michael J. Fox speaking his truth as he recollects all the ups and downs of his career and life. Parkinson’s is a part of that, naturally. But it doesn’t define him. STILL is the exact opposite of how anyone would describe Fox. His entire career has been moving from one project to the next, whether that’s a movie, tv show, or funding over $1.5 billion in research through the Michael J. Fox Foundation. STILL allows Fox to take a breathe and reflect on everything he has done and still wants to do.
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie stands out from your typical celebrity documentary in its presentation. The film uses Michael J. Fox’s extensive filmography to piece together scenes of his life as he narrates his stories. There are a few reenactments, but the majority of what Fox says can surprisingly be recreated through his own work. When he talks about meeting and falling in love with his wife Tracy Pollan, for instance, clips from their scenes together in Family Ties and Bright Lights, Big City act as a backdrop to his story. It’s honestly perfect. It also says a lot to just how talented Fox is and all that he’s done over the years that they were able to match almost every story of his with scenes from his work.
It’s not all just a clip show, either. The documentary also provides a window into Fox’s daily life with Parkinson’s disease. It doesn’t shy away from showing the hardships and tremors that have impacted his ability to walk and move. Physical therapy and medication help, but it can be a daily struggle. Michael J. Fox is a fighter though, and the documentary shows that from the very beginning. It’s interesting to hear him talk about coming to terms with the disease. There were seven years between his diagnosis and when he revealed it to the world. He talks about hiding it on set. Clips from the time show how he would always have something in his hands, fiddling around with a pen or a phone. This was to hide the shaking he narrates. Nothing was going to stop Fox from doing what he wanted to do.
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie is a celebration of all things Michael J. Fox. Documentaries can only be as interesting as their subjects, and Fox is one of the most interesting actors around. He brings humor, heart, and truck load of talent to the screen. STILL shows that Michael J. Fox is still going strong.
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie screen at the Atlanta Film Festival. It is set to release on May 12, 2023 on Apple TV+.
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie is an intimate look at his life and career through his own words. It’s an honest, raw, and emotional exploration of an actor at the high of his career and how Parkinson’s changed all of that in an instant.