I haven’t watched all of these (yet) but I decided to do a little research about movies with Alzheimer’s as a main theme in the story line. Here they are, in order from newest to oldest. I checked to see what was on Netflix and made a note if you are a Netflix fan and want to find them there. Some may be on Amazon Prime and I believe all can be purchased as DVDs on Amazon. Would love to know if any of these have touched you in any way, given you new insights, or if you just have an opinion about which should be next on my watchlist.
(Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart)
Still Alice shows the devastating toll early-onset Alzheimer’s has on the person and their family, through the eyes of Alice, the woman with the disease. Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. (on Netflix)
Social worker Dan Cohen, through his nonprofit organization Music and Memory, advocates for the use of music therapy for dementia patients. (on Netflix)
This documentary shows country music legend Glen Campbell on his farewell tour throughout the United States, Australia and Europe. Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 and publicly fought the disease and its stigma along with his family. (on Netflix)
The Iron Lady is a 2011 British biographical film based on the life of Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013), the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century. The film shows her struggle with dementia and with the lack of power that comes with old age, while looking back on defining moments of her personal and professional life, on which she reminisces with her (now-dead) husband, Denis Thatcher, whose death she is unable to fully accept. She is shown as having difficulty distinguishing between the past and present. A theme throughout the film is the personal price that Thatcher has paid for power. (on Netflix)
(Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams)
The film is based on Nicholas Spark’s novel and features a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s. Their story is narrated from the present day by an elderly man (portrayed by James Garner) telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident.
(Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent, Michael Murphy, Olympia Dukakis)
Long married, Fiona and Grant find their mutual devotion tested by her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. When it becomes apparent that the condition is worsening, she checks into a rest home. Grant visits her a month later and finds that his wife has grown close to Aubrey, a fellow resident. Jealous and hurt, Grant finally seeks help from Aubrey’s wife when Fiona suffers a crisis.
(Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent)
Kate Winslet portrays the young Murdoch in her heady years at Oxford-unaware of future life events, she says, “There is only one freedom of any consequence: that of the mind”-while Dame Judi Dench masterfully conveys the later years of aging and Alzheimer’s. In the forefront is husband and caretaker John Bayley (played by Jim Broadbent), who remains devoted and loving even through his love’s encumbered thinking and, at time, abuse. (on Netflix)
(Joanne Woodward, Richard Kiley, Geraldine Fitzgerald)
Barbara Wyatt-Hollis is a successful college professor who must come to terms with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease as it begins to affect her professional life, her marriage to her compassionate husband, George, and her grown children. As Barbara’s personality and memories disappear, a husband no longer knows the woman he married, a mother helplessly watches her daughter’s deterioration, and a son’s fear and vulnerability consume him.
(Kathryn Hepburn, Jane Fonda & Henry Fonda)
First movie to talk about dementia – very controversial at the time!
An aging couple, Ethel and Norman Thayer, continue the long tradition of spending each summer at their cottage on a lake in the far reaches of northern New England called Golden Pond. As they resettle into their summer home, Norman’s memory problems arise when he is unable to recognize several family photographs, which he copes with by frequently talking about death and growing old. They are visited by their only child, a daughter, Chelsea, who is somewhat estranged from her curmudgeon of a father. (on Netflix)