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This is story of Paulie Cooper, a former med student who becomes ill with paranoid schizophrenia and loses 18 years of her life due to the sickness. After her release from a mental ward Paulie struggles to rebuild her life with help from doctors, nurses and a new experimental medicine drug that would help aid her back to health. She spends the rest of her life re-adjusting to life outside of the institution and to a world that had misunderstood and shunned her. Written by
In an attempt to improvise the "walk" of a homeless indigent, Diana Ross discreetly placed an orange between her skirted thighs and proceeded to hobble along on cue. The effort required to keep the concealed orange in place without using her hands, effected a gait so uncanny that Ross's director, Larry Elikann, later quizzed her about how she walked the "walk." According to Ross, herself, as related to the audience on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) (19 February 2006), she never did disclose the simplicity of her little ruse. See more »
I'm gonna get through this for what? To be what? Just less, and then less, and then less and less... I don't wanna end up on a back ward somewhere. I'd rather be nothing, you know...
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I didn't realize I was watching Diana Ross when I saw this. She is very good.
The movie does an extraordinary job of conveying what psychosis is like. Been there, done that. What's even better is that it shows, in realistic ways, what it is like to cope with psychosis.
Too many films romanticize psychosis - madness is enticing if horrifying, a voyeuristic thrill for the presumably sane. In this film, it is humanized. Paulie struggles to "ride it out", to have a plan to cope, to cope, and to go beyond coping to living a full life, while managing her own condition. Tremendously empowering.
This film lacks syrup, and while it is dramatic it is not generally melodramatic. Paulie's work to trust others so that she can heal, to rebuild relationships with her family as she does, to face the real, irreparable changes that 18 years of poorly controlled schizophrenia have had on her child, her family & herself is so well portrayed that it merits a run-on sentence.
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