Girl, Interrupted (1999)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama


Girl, Interrupted (1999) Poster

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the late 1960s.


7.3/10
151,626

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  • Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Winona Ryder and Elisabeth Moss in Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Director James Mangold
  • Angelina Jolie and Jillian Armenante in Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Rebecca Gayheart at an event for Girl, Interrupted (1999)

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16 January 2000 | derek.webster
9
| jaundiced beauty, and vaccine of the soul
How good is Angelina Jolie in this film? It is a testament to this young actor's presence that even as dark and soul sickened and gloriously decaying as her character is, there is not a frame in this film that doesn't feel her infection.

Winona Rider is equally excellent as the psychologically confused (or is it enlightened?) hero forced to navigate the depths of her own psyche. The interplay between these two is somehow able to range from the enchanting to the exquisitely painful; but from beginning to end remains capable of leaving you breathless.

Presented with the softly rendered and absorbing visualization of a young girl's decent into psychological insecurity; it is a hauntingly supple progression toward the half understood disturbance of what we might have experienced. If you've ever questioned your own sanity or escaped periods of exceptional melancholy in your life, this film is certain to trigger old fears. But it is also certain to remind you how exquisite and simple salvation can often be.

Refreshingly unlike any of the myriad of fine 'expose' films detailing the darker side of madness (see Roman Polanski's 'Repulsion') or even those with a more poli-social agenda (see Milos Foreman's 'One Flew Over the Cookoo's nest'); 'Girl, Interrupted' achieves a very rare victory in modern film. It conjures enough unnerving insight to bring us scintilatingly close to its most macabre moments; while sewing atop this a spiritual safety net. One capable of the mental restoration that must bring us back to the security of our well cushioned theatre seat. All movement in between remains internal; a lingering memory of personal identification and cathartic resolution.

One look into Angelina Jolie's eyes and you will see the warm, jaundiced decay of a soul no longer battling with sanity. Fear is born of those eyes when you realize how strongly they've tempted your own tired efforts...even as the second look delves closer to a bleakness bearing fruition beyond existential suicide. This film deserves that second look, as well as its painful salvation: a jaundiced beauty whose tragic death is no less healing than the memory of a lost friend.

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Genres

Biography | Drama

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