REVIEW: “Still”, a heartwarming look at Michael J. Fox’s life and career

Some heroes don’t wear capes; some wear puffy orange vests, accidently get hit on by a past version of their mother, and drive time traveling DeLoreans. Some heroes simply pretend to be these puffy orange vest-wearing, DeLorean-driving heroes for a few movies (among with other iconic characters in other productions that are equally as classic) before turning to more important matters like raising billions of dollars for Parkinson’s disease research. 

Michael J. Fox may not see himself as a hero, but to many his example of bravery and unrelenting optimism in the face of adversity certainly qualifies him for the label. 

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is Michael’s story as told by himself, a story that is heartbreaking, heartwarming, funny, life-affirming, and entertaining all at once. 

Still triumphs not only because of its inspiring subject matter, but also because of how it tells its story. As its subtitle indicates, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is not a documentary but a cohesive narrative that is cleverly told via footage of Michael J. Fox’s movie and television performances, news footage, home video, and the occasional talking head which is always given by Michael himself speaking as if the audience were a close friend. 

I’m sure there must have been a recreated scene or two in Still, but for the life of me I could not tell which footage was authentic and which scenes were reenactments because the two blended together so seamlessly. The parallels between the aforementioned movie and television clips and Michael’s own life are sometimes eerily apropos, and the editing work by Michael Harte (who also had the idea of using said footage to begin with) could not be sharper. 

Director Davis Guggenheim does a fantastic job at keeping hints of his presence to a bare minimum, instead letting Michael’s humor, wit, and still undiluted charisma drive the show. Because despite the excellent directing and editing, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie ultimately works as well as it does because Michael J. Fox is Michael J. Fox. 

Despite Michael’s infectious, upbeat attitude, Still is still sometimes hard to watch because of how honest it is when discussing and portraying the difficult circumstances that Michael has been saddled with, and I’m not just talking about the Parkinson’s. 

Michael is not afraid to share his experiences with alcoholism, his blessedly temporary ego highs, and depression, but if there’s one thing I learned from watching this film it’s that Michael not only refuses be pitied, but that he also refuses to let his difficulties bring his spirit down. So why should we as an audience let his struggles get our own spirits down? 

His story is an uplifting one because he refused to have it any other way, and Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is an uplifting film because of this stubbornness. If you’re a fan, check it out. If you’re not, check it out anyway. You’ll be glad that you did. 

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is now available on Apple TV+.