“What is it like? What does it actually feel like?”

”It” being early-onset Alzheimer’s, the condition plaguing Julianne Moore’s character in the upcoming “Still Alice.” Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s drama is astounding because it stomachs quiet tragedy in the most naturalistic, delicate way possible. There are moral conflicts, internal struggles, objective explanations, and truths that rip apart characters like a spray of bullets. Or in the case of Kristen Stewart’s character Lydia, playing opposite Moore’s mother character, there are questions. Alzheimer’s is an existential disease. “Still Alice” plays right into that.

In a new clip from the film, Stewart and Moore unpack the ailment that’s slowly dissolving her mental state. Any complaints to Stewart’s relaxed mode are challenged in scenes like this, where normality is key. Audiences lauded Moore’s work in reactions from the Toronto International Film Festival and this snippet is emblematic of what she is and isn’t doing. “Still Alice” is frank. It doesn’t try too hard because it doesn’t have to.

As we previously reported, Sony Pictures Classics will campaign for Moore and Stewart this season.They both have multiple hats in the ring: Moore could wind up in the Best Supporting Actress category if enough people see her wild work in “Maps to the Stars”; Stewart is less likely to earn an Oscar nomination for her Guantanamo Bay prison drama “Camp X-Ray,” but an Independent Spirit Award is always a possibility and praise surrounding her performance can only amplify the having-a-year narrative. It’s the push that could take her all the way to the Best Supporting Actress category.

”Still Alice” will have one-week qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles at the tail end of December. A wide release is scheduled for Jan. 16.

Matt Patches is a writer and reporter based in New York. His work has appeared on Grantland, New York Magazine's Vulture, VanityFair.com, and The Hollywood Reporter. He thinks Groundhog Day is perfect.