This doc has the Power of Love.
Michael J. Fox has been an idol for years, whether we saw him in the 80s or see him only attending “Back to the Future” meet and greets. As you know, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, which he hadn’t made public until 1998. The made-for-AppleTV+ doc “Still: The Michael J. Fox Movie” is about how he became a star, how he became ill, and how he retired from acting. At times, it can truthful, other times, it can be heartbreaking, and in other cases, it can be nostalgic.
We see how he filmed “Family Ties” and “Back to the Future” close together. We see how he married his “Family Ties” co-star Tracy Pollan. We see how he was diagnosed with the disease. We see how he used pills to hide the pain during his hit 90s show “Spin City.” And we see how he tried to keep walking. He does tend to limp, but he has some help from his family and friends to keep him going.
As a kid, I knew Michael J Fox through his voice-over work in “Homeward Bound,” “Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco,” “Stuart Little 1 & 2,” and “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” His voice couldn’t be more memorable to me. And as a young adult, I saw him in “Back to the Future,” and realize he was a real charmer. I still think he’s a charmer, even today, because a disease should not take away from who he is as a person.
Dramatizations use clips from his previous movies and shows to represent his highs and lows of life. How he struggled to get major roles as a young man, how he is a short man (standing at 5’4 and a quarter), how Siskel & Ebert gave his positive and negative reviews, and how dealt with one situation after the next. For example, the clip when the late great critics praised his movie “Back to the Future” should be proof that not every critic is as a mean-spirited as movies and shows make them out to be. And it’s also heartbreaking that because of his condition, they had to pan some of his later movies.
It may not be long enough to fully examine his life (the movie runs for 94 minutes), but it does remind us of who he was, and who he is now, and it tells us things we never really guessed from him. It’s a biography and documentary that brings on the tears, humor, and nostalgia.
This week, I’ve seen two refreshing docs about celebrities and their worlds. “It Ain’t Over” is about how baseball legend Yogi Berra proved to be more than meets the eye, and now, “Still: The Michael J. Fox Movie” is about how this Marty McFly actor has a big soul inside himself.
In Select Theaters and Streaming on AppleTV+