He gets knocked down, but he gets up again; you’re never going to keep him down. That’s the main takeaway from this intimate survey of Michael J. Fox’s life and times, one that movingly juxtaposes the giddying highs of his 80s heyday ("I was bigger than bubblegum") with the daily struggles he now faces from the Parkinson’s disease he was diagnosed with in 1991.
The title of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary works two ways, reminding us its subject is still the boyish scamp from Back to the Future while also alluding to one of his defining attributes: a nervous, skittery energy that, while integral to Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties and Spin City’s Mike Flaherty, must now be restrained lest it cause him serious physical injury.
"You knocked me off my feet!" he tells a fan amiably after a brief New York encounter sees him tumble on the sidewalk. A little stillness would not go amiss, at least as far as doting spouse Tracy is concerned.
Yet it’s heartening to find Fox so fearlessly unhumbled by his condition and the mobility problems that come with it. One of the star’s stipulations before consenting to this film was that it would have "no violins". By its end you’ll be happy to give him the whole flipping orchestra.
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie will be in select cinemas in the UK and streaming globally on Apple TV Plus on May 12. For more upcoming movies, check out our breakdown of all of the 2023 movie release dates.