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At the Sundance Film Festival premiere of Still, the documentary about his life and career, Michael J. Fox received a massive standing ovation from the packed Eccles theater as he took the stage with director Davis Guggenheim.
“You stumbled into my life and said, ‘We can make a movie out of this,'” remembered Fox of Guggenheim approaching him after reading Fox’s memoir and a New York Times story on the actor. “And I said I have nothing to do next week,” joked Fox, receiving laughter from the Park City audience.
Still is filled with humor as the movie tracks Fox’s move from his native Canada to Los Angeles and, after years of struggle, documents his meteoric career trajectory from Family Ties to Teen Wolf to Back to the Future. The doc dives into his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in his late 20s, his subsequent attempts to keep the news a secret for a decade and his eventual public announcement and now advocacy via the Fox Family Foundation.
“This is fucking crazy. This is a 16-year-old kid who left Canada to be an actor,” said Fox of watching the doc. “A few years later I was one of the biggest actors in the world, and I was the guy that would get egged in high school.”
“The thing that screams at me about how lucky I have been is the stuff with my family,” said the actor. “It’s been an amazing life and the biggest part of it is with them.” The doc sees the Fox family, including wife Tracy Pollan and their four children, moving through their day-to-day lives as the actor manages his Parkinson’s. Fox’s family was present at the Friday morning premiere. He said, “It’s an amazing fucking life and I am enjoying it.”
Critic Daniel Fienberg writes in his review of the movie for The Hollywood Reporter: “Whether you’re like me and grew up at a time when Fox was simultaneously the biggest star in movies and on television — back when those lines were harder to cross — or you’ve followed his life in the past two decades as a public crusader for Parkinson’s research and awareness, it’s hard not to have personal investment in the Canadian actor and advocate.”
“I’m just so lucky I got to know you, full stop. You have changed my life,” said Guggenheim, who had been working on the project for three years, after the screening.
“How can you miss me if I won’t go away?” Fox questioned of his continued onscreen presence, now including Still. “I’m not going anywhere, unfortunately.”
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