girl, interrupted

Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie star in this overly long film based Susanna Kaysen’s memoirs of one year in a psychiatric hospital. After swallowing a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of vodka, Kaysen (played by Ryder) checks herself into a mental institution. Kaysen is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, but many of the underlying themes revolve around perceptions of promiscuity and craziness. Touches of humour keep it from being too melodramatic, and Jolie picked up an Academy Award for her portrayal of an unhinged vixen. Whoopi Goldberg plays the ward nurse, and Vanessa Redgrave has a supporting part as an understanding psychiatrist. You might want to read the book first. [us, 1999]

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