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Kate and Charlie Hannah have a relationship well lubricated with alcohol, but Kate finally finds her chemical appetites have gotten completely out of control. With the help of an ex-addict friend at work, Kate finds a support group that helps her begin to conquer her addictions. However, that recovery proves just part of a larger personal challenge to rebuild her life even as her marriage with her drunken husband deteriorates. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Lake Arrowhead Reservoir is an artificial lake in San Bernardino County, about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The surrounding community is also named Lake Arrowhead, and its economy is supported mostly by tourism. See more »
As Kate drinks from a hip flask in her car, a woman with a large purse walks by in the background. She walks by again after Kate gets out of her car. See more »
Love is easy. Did you know that? It's the rest of this shit that's hard.
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Cruel To Be Kind
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Down to earth drama about a woman fighting to stay sober.
Pretty teacher Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and husband Charlie (Aaron Paul) are a young married couple who are also alcoholics. When Kate gets sick of waking up in strange places and peeing herself, she decides to quit drinking and get help. But, Kate faces an uphill battle as she gets resentment, not support, from her husband and to gain sobriety she may loose everything. What I liked most about this indie drama was that co-writer/ director James Ponsoldt avoids the melodramatics that usually come with films of this nature and guides his cast trough a real life situation and has them play real life people complete with quirks and all. And as for his cast, they all give good down to earth performances but, it is Winstead who owns the movie as the troubled young woman who wants to change the downward spiral of her life. She effectively portrays the frustration of her own behavior and then then hurt and anger when she tries to change her life and doesn't get the support she needs from those she cares about. Winstead shows chops that she hasn't yet had the opportunity to show and she gives a very real and effecting performance. True, I would like to have seen more of the relationship between Kate and her AA sponsor, Jenny (Octavia Spencer) and a subplot involving her vice principal, Dave (Nick Offerman), who has a crush on her and introduces her to his AA group, doesn't quite click but, this are minor points. Overall Smashed is a solid and heartfelt drama that doesn't preach yet, doesn't make light of it subject matter and gives a talented young actress a role she can really shine in. Recommended for those who are looking for a drama that's refreshingly un-Hollywood and want to see Winstead prove she's more then a pretty face.
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