‘Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie’ Review: A Star’s Dignity | Kanebridge News
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‘Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie’ Review: A Star’s Dignity

Weaving together film clips, dramatic re-creations and interviews with the actor, this affecting documentary on Apple TV+ explores his life with Parkinson’s disease.

By JOHN ANDERSON
Fri, May 12, 2023 8:43amGrey Clock 3 min

This is probably less a critique than a thank-you note to director Davis Guggenheim and to the subject of “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” a marriage of exhilaration and sadness and, despite the title, the most moving thing on television. Mr. Fox was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars when he was diagnosed in 1991 with Parkinson’s disease, which finally forced his full retirement in 2021. His sense of humour remains a wonder. Something most viewers will only have to wonder, fortunately, is whether they would maintain the same dignity under the same set of circumstances.

The title, “Still,” describes something the actor never seemed to be, as evidenced by the voluminous collection of film clips Mr. Guggenheim uses to structure much of the film—Mr. Fox was always running, from “Teen Wolf,” to “The Secret of My Success,” to “Bright Lights, Big City,” to the blockbuster “Back to the Future” franchise and in and out of “Family Ties,” the sitcom that established his comedy credentials and wide appeal. Much of the background action, as well as Mr. Fox’s early biography, is covered through dramatic re-creations and otherwise unconnected film scenes knitted into a coherent narrative. The research must have been strenuous; the editing, too. The pace is nonstop, the humour abundant, the devotion of Mr. Fox’s wife, actress Tracy Pollan, is made plain, and there’s no small amount of nostalgia in store for people who know and love the Fox filmography. But the heart and soul of the film are the face-to-face interviews, which are far less delicate than one might expect. And all the deeper for it.

Seven interviews were conducted over the span of a year, and at one point Mr. Fox and his director (an Oscar winner for “An Inconvenient Truth”) are getting back together after some time, the subject recounting how he basically had, in the interim, fallen and broken his face. Mr. Guggenheim reacts with alarm; his subject is almost blasé. “Gravity is real,” he says, laughing. “Even if you’re only falling from my height.” During a walk along Fifth Avenue with an aide, Mr. Fox is recognised by a fan and when he turns to say hello back, he topples to the sidewalk. “You knocked me off my feet,” he tells the passerby. Everyone smiles, but it breaks your heart.

“I can see in your eyes that you’ve got a great one-liner,” Mr. Guggenheim says to the actor at a point in their exchanges, “and then it has a problem getting to your mouth.” Mr. Fox doesn’t disagree; he doesn’t have to, and often lets a nonresponse compensate when a response would be thwarted by his ailment. As Mr. Guggenheim says, the predictable storyline in a Michael J. Fox movie now would be about a huge star getting a debilitating disease and being crushed by it. “Yeah,” Mr. Fox says, “that’s boring.” Nothing in “Still” is the least bit boring.

Nor is it preachy, or weepy, or looking for pity for its subject, who isn’t looking for any either. He does recall feeling at some point, post-diagnosis, that he was somehow reaping cosmic payback for the enormous if less-than-overnight success he had enjoyed after several seemingly immovable objections fell and he was cast in “Family Ties.” (His tales of Hollywood poverty are close to harrowing although, as he might say, he got over it.) If there’s a flaw in “Still,” it might be Mr. Fox’s reluctance to discuss his physical agony or the psychic struggle that comes with Parkinson’s. (“The worst thing is to be confined,” he says, answering one of Mr. Guggenheim’s very direct questions. “To have no way out.”) You come close, Mr. Guggenheim says about Mr. Fox discussing his pain, “and then you dart away.” But that is a principal reason his subject, and film, are so involving and watchable and rich.



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Designing Dreams: David Charette’s fascinating Spaces for Children’s Adventures

David Charette has teamed up with CIRCU Magical Furniture to design spaces that capture the essence of childhood wonder.

Tue, May 21, 2024 4 min

This collaboration between David Charette, founder and principal of Britto Charette, and CIRCU Magical Furniture aims to stimulate the imaginations of children, encouraging them to invent their own tales of adventure. Drawing on his extensive travels, Charette believes that journeying through different cultures can spark creativity in young minds.

His latest venture uses a mix of luxury elements and magical themes, incorporating products from CIRCU, Covet House, and other vendors to create unique, enchanting children’s rooms. These spaces are designed to reflect the excitement and mystery of exploring new worlds.

The Sleeping are:

David Charette has transformed a Montreal residence into a magical sleeping area where time seems to pause, and adventures await. Known for its long, cold winters and short days, Montreal served as the perfect backdrop for Charette’s vision of a space that remains warm and bright throughout the year.

Central to the design is the concept of “light and bright,” brought to life using de Gournay‘s hand-painted wall coverings in fresh mint, decorated with flying butterflies. These elements beautifully complement the original shapes of the KOKET Nymph Wall Lamp and the organic curves of the CIRCU Tristen Bed.

Charette’s attachment to the Tristen Bed stems not only from its youthful appeal but also from its ergonomic design, which makes it easy for children to climb in and out of, enhancing both its functionality and charm.

The Bed:

Charette paired the modern lines of the bed with the unique design of the Boca do Lobo Wave Nightstand and the funky style of Delightfull’s Billy Table Lamp. By blending these contemporary pieces with the classic elements in the decor of this luxury kids’ room, Charette has crafted a unique space that breathes a natural breeze of inspiration into any child’s environment.

This combination not only adds aesthetic appeal but also stimulates the imagination, making the room a perfect sanctuary for creativity and dreams.

The seating area:

The room also includes a cozy seating area perfect for young readers. Centred around the CIRCU Dainty Armchair, this space is tailored for kids, with the chair’s delicate structure and elegant design enhancing the room’s charm. Its pink velvet upholstery adds a vibrant pop of color, enriching the room’s palette. To distinctly separate this reading corner from the rest of the sleeping area, Charette chose the Boca Do Lobo Gold Folding Screen from Covet House, which not only adds an element of privacy but also contributes a touch of sophistication to the space.

The Play and Study area:

David Charette aimed to create a space with an “Out of Africa” vibe to spark a child’s imagination and inspire a passion for lifelong adventures and travels. Drawing from fond memories of camping during his own childhood, Charette incorporated a Teepee Tent into the room’s design, allowing children to feel as they are camping in a forest right within their own bedroom.

This nature-inspired theme is beautifully complemented by the Fornasetti wall coverings from Cole & Son and the Filigree Cricket Wall Lamp, which are insect-shaped sconces by Boca do Lobo.

Adding to the ambiance, Charette notes, “The clouds on the ceiling further the idea of camping (in this case “glamping”) and dreaming, and the Circu Cloud Suspension lamps add to the dreamy camping vibe.”

To maintain this adventurous theme, Charette selected the CIRCU NODO Suspension Chair. It not only brings a hint of outdoor fun indoors with an elegant flair but also offers a comfy spot for kids to unwind and lose themselves in their favorite stories.

In his design, David Charette, of Britto Charette, focused on enhancing the sense of freedom and sparking children’s imaginations in their own space. He chose one of his favorite pieces from CIRCU, the Sky Desk, for its playful design and inspirational form. Shaped like an airplane, this desk not only becomes the central feature of playtime but also transforms homework into an exciting adventure. The unique design aims to captivate and motivate young minds, turning everyday tasks into a flight of imagination.

David Charette designed this luxury children’s room with the hope that it would inspire children to dream, play, and develop a deep respect for nature as they embark on their own adventures.

He crafted the room to be “transitional,” capable of evolving with a child from toddler years into adolescence. This design approach not only aims to create a lasting, imaginative space for children but also to show parents the value of investing in unique, high-quality pieces like those from Circu. These carefully chosen items stand out from mass-produced children’s designs, offering both aesthetic appeal and long-term utility.

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