Still: A Michael J Fox Movie needed to dig a little deeper

michael j fox in still a michael j fox movie
Still: A Michael J Fox Movie reviewApple TV+

Michael J Fox is the latest actor to get an intimate documentary about his life, following the likes of Pamela Anderson and Robert Downey Jr, with new Apple TV+ movie Still: A Michael J Fox Movie.

Like Sr (which saw Robert Downey Jr explore his life through the lens of his relationship with his father), Still takes a unique and cinematic approach to the life of its subject. It ends up being part-biopic, part-documentary and feels fully in line with the spirit of Michael J Fox's life.

Those sitting down expecting it to be a heartbreaking story about Fox's battle with Parkinson's disease won't find that here. Fox has no interest in people pitying him or reflecting on how 'brave' he's being; he's always been an entertainer and that's just what his life story is going to be.

Ultimately though, while Still: A Michael J Fox Movie is never less than an engaging watch, you'll wish it ended up digging into more of Fox's life in the way a documentary usually would.

michael j fox in still a michael j fox movie
Apple TV+

Watch Still: A Michael J Fox Movie on Apple TV+

Still: A Michael J Fox Movie is split into roughly three sections of his life and career: his early acting struggles up to his breakthrough role in Family Ties; the height of his fame and his relationship with Tracy Pollan; and finally his Parkinson's diagnosis, his attempts to keep it a secret and eventually his public reveal.

It's very much in Fox's own words as his is the only 'talking head' interview throughout, but this isn't a straightforward documentary. We get dramatic recreations of key moments in his life, alongside cleverly-edited archival footage that is repurposed to look like it was filmed as part of Fox's life, rather than one of his TV or movie roles.

We do also get fairly brief insights into Fox's personal life throughout, such as his physical therapy following injuries. Like Fox's to-camera interview, they're evidence that he has no interest in a 'woe is me' story. When we see him fall over in the street after turning to say hello to someone, he quickly jokes: "You knocked me off my feet."

michael j fox in still a michael j fox movie
Apple TV+

There are still hard-to-watch and emotional sequences, such as when Fox has to pause his interview as his symptoms flare up. Fox also hasn't self-censored so you get insight into his struggles with alcoholism, as well as frank admissions that after his rise to stardom with Back to the Future, he could be a bit of a dick on the set of Family Ties.

Still: A Michael J Fox Movie could do with more revelations such as this or the explanation of how Fox hid his Parkinson's on set. As open and honest as Fox is as a subject, the movie doesn't really delve deep enough, often enough, to truly make you feel like you know him better.

It's not helped by the fact that the movie features very little of Fox's career after he revealed his Parkinson's diagnosis or even his subsequent charity work. Much like Fox talks about how he was always on the move, the documentary feels in a rush to wrap things up.

Still: A Michael J Fox Movie ends up being one of those rare movies you wish were longer so that you could learn more. Michael J Fox proves excellent company to be in and his optimism is infectious, yet if you came to the movie wanting to learn more, you'd be better off reading his memoirs instead.

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

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