A Philosophical Movie Review: Still — A Michael J. Fox Documentary
I’m a fan of the actor, activist Michael J. Fox. I saw him in Family Ties. I saw him in Back to the Future. I saw him in The Secret To My Success. And yes, I saw Teen Wolf. He’s just a few years older than me. I admired what he had done in the movies. I enjoyed his passion for comedy. And then I guess I got busy and didn’t see him on screen for a long, long time.
I knew that Fox had some kind of disease. It was Parkinson’s disease. But I didn’t know that much about it until last night when I saw his documentary, Still on Apple TV +. Still is about his life with Parkinson’s disease.
In this film, Fox documents his journey with a disease that has no cure. There is no way to completely hide the disease. Drugs can only provide some comfort. And every day, he wakes up still, with a body that shakes beyond his control.
Fox has the support of his family. That support is unconditional. Family support started with him as a kid. His father took him to every audition. His father was there for everything. At one very low point, they both lived in squalor to reach success. They paid their dues.
And that was the one thing that I noticed. Parental support. Fox had his dad. The Osmond boys had their parents. So did the Jackson 5. Throughout my life, I’ve noticed that the most successful people I’ve seen in the performing arts had the ultimate support of their parents.
I’ve even noticed people who are not famous who had the support of their parents. They live more comfortably. They have greater resources. They have stable lives. They know they can call their mom or their dad to talk about anything.
Parental support for the talents and abilities of their kids does not always equal success. But when parents support their kids, the odds of success vastly increase.
There was something else I noticed about Michael J. Fox. He had an unrelenting sense of humor.
Even when he was shaking, even when he was managing his disease, he could not help but make jokes. He could not resist a one-liner, a zinger, or a pun. He made a decision to be happy, even if for only a moment…