Starring: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall, Brittany Murphy, Elisabeth Moss, Jared Leto, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Vanessa Redgrave
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: James Mangold, Lisa Loomer, Anna Hamilton Phelan
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 7 min
Boasting an Oscar-winning performance from Angelina Jolie, Girl Interrupted is adapted from the autobiographic novel by Susanna Kaysen of the same name. Set towards the end of the 1960’s, Girl Interrupted mostly covers the 18 month internment Susanna (Winona Ryder in the movie) has at the Claymore Mental Hospital. Sent there after a suicide attempt, apparently brought on by some complicated illicit sexual dealings with an older married man.
The entire reason for her mental state, and suicide attempt though are very quickly covered in this adaptation, and for me represent the weakest section of the movie. When Susanna gets to the hospital though the film starts to improve, as we’re introduced to the eclectic cast of characters in her ward. The most notable being the brash and uncontrollable Lisa, superbly played by Angelina Jolie.
Girl Interrupted is a slow mover, but it’s worth sticking with because of the great cast. Angelina Jolie’s performance is clearly the stand out, but it was always going to be considering the character she had to play. Equally impressive for me however, was Winona Ryder, who really opens up emotionally and connects to her character. In the past I’ve always found her performances decent, but overly restrained. In this movie I found her portrayal of Susanna’s journey to recovery really moving, and the payoffs towards to the end of the story are really worth the wait.
If you’ve seen and enjoyed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest you’ll likely be reminded of that film if you watch this. This isn’t as good, that’s for sure, but it’s still worth a watch. It moves a little slow, and the performances are the main attraction. Its rated R due to its occasional harsh language and mild drug content.
This is decently shot, but doesn’t need a large screen to enjoy it. A HD showing on your TV, laptop or tablet will be okay.
I really enjoyed Winona Ryder’s emotive performance in Girl Interrupted, and I would even go so far as to say this is the best acting I’ve seen from her to date.