Oscar winner, magnificent film with Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie is in the Netflix catalog

What will take precedence, madness over loneliness, or, on the contrary, loneliness, when poignantly intense and time-tested, ends up metamorphosing into something even more nefarious, like mental illness? The truth is that a person’s psychic health is directly linked to the number of bonds that he is able to establish throughout his life, although there are those who live very well in their own world, enjoying a particularly comfortable condition: they have the ability to to interact with anyone without giving up having his many moments of retreat with himself, nor giving in to any kind of psychopathology. Being at peace with one’s own spirit, understanding oneself, and above all, knowing oneself is a presupposition that one cannot do without in terms of maintaining a good state of mind, which ends up being reflected in the soul and spills over into the mind. body. For those whose suffering no longer responds to therapy of any kind, the intervention of external agents remains, compulsory in many circumstances, a resource that is indeed effective, despite the stigma that psychiatric institutions still carry today.

In the spring of 1967, Susanna Kaysen, Winona Ryder’s character in “Girl, Interrupted” (1999), ends up in what until not long ago would have been called a madhouse – a word canceled by political correctness, which thinks that canceling genuine manifestations of certain phenomena, including linguistic ones, solve the most complex problems — but a luxury madhouse, Claymoore. Susanna, a senior in high school, should be getting ready to go to college, but she decides to mix a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka in a deadly cocktail that almost wipes out her pale, overly thin, sickly figure. She is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by Doctor Sonia Wick, a psychiatrist she has never seen before, Vanessa Redgrave’s character, but it is Whoopi Goldberg’s head nurse Valerie Owens who gives the final sentence on Susanna’s true evil, ” a lazy, self-indulgent little girl”, who urgently needs some occupation that consumes her enough to stop thinking about nonsense anymore.

Susanna is exactly the type of person who adapts too quickly to places like Claymoore, undoubtedly essential for most patients who can afford it, but who also serves, like Susanna, as an alternative for relatives. unconcerned about getting rid of someone who becomes a burden on the family’s life in a reasonably dignified way. Based on Susanna Kaysen’s diary, whose true accounts converge to the conclusion that she never had a psychiatric disorder that made it impossible for her to continue depriving her of social life, the screenplay by director James Mangold, co-written by Lisa Loomer and Anna Hamilton Phelan, unravels much of Susanna’s losses over the two years of her stay at Claymoore. A person with problems, like any other, is buried alive – and he bury himself too, let it be clear – in a hostile place for those who don’t need to be there, much less for so long, just because it escapes the idea of ​​vulgar normality. , just because it bothers, just because it’s weird. This excellent argument from the work of Mangold, Loomer and Phelan, joins the exposition of the likes of the furious Lisa, the character that gave Angelina Jolie the only Oscar of her prolific career as a performer and director, that of Best Supporting Actress, in 2000. ; Georgina, by Clea Duvall, who thinks she is Dorothy and lives in the enchanted world of Oz; Polly, played by Elisabeth Moss, victim of self-mutilation episodes; and Daisy, perhaps the worst of the quartet, a painfully realistic interpretation of Brittany Murphy (1977-2009). Living with these unlikely new friends is what will assure her, in a very parsimonious but also very assertive way, that she definitely doesn’t belong in Claymoore. And that she needs to discover what makes her unhappy and radically change the way she has lived until then. Staying hospitalized, maybe forever, is easier, but it’s not fair, not with herself, not with who she really needs such assistance.

Freely inspired by “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), Miloš Forman’s (1932-2018) classic, “Girl, Interrupted” even discusses collateral themes, even more nebulous for the time in which the plot unfolds — feminism, sexual liberation, drugs, free sex — but its real asset is to make the asylum issue, taboo to this day all over the world after 23 years, a little more digestible to the general public. Ryder and Jolie are, of course, the icing on the cake in an almost perfect film, which lacks something of what Freud called a life drive. It is a story, no doubt, but with room for some speculation of happy fates for those girls. With a little more love, love that transcends merely physical interest, who knows.


Movie: girl, interrupted
Direction: James Mangold
Year: 1999
Genres: Drama/Coming-of-age
Note: 9/10

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