|Index||10 reviews in total|
Nellie Bly, though a well-known name to most history buffs, has slipped
under the radar as far as modern mainstream trends are concerned. Many
people have heard her name but hardly anyone knows who the ambitious
woman behind the name really is. Productions on Bly have been attempted
before but none have come to fruition. But 10 DAYS IN A MADHOUSE caught
my eye when I realized it wasn't just another biopic. It took simply
one of Nellie's culturally impacting investigations (as well as her
very first) and ran with it.
10 DAYS IN A MADHOUSE follows a young and spunky 23-year old Nellie who is given her first assignment to attempt going undercover into Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum. Faking her insanity and eventually being diagnosed as insane, Bly not only reports on the terrible living conditions and the poor health system, but also the mental and physical abuse being brought upon the patients by the nurses and the doctors. All of which she falls subject to.
This independent production by Pendragon Pictures was the first I had seen even make it past the gate of pre-production. I was able to catch it on its way to premiering theatrically in NYC. The production, helmed by director Timothy Hines, is a very interesting one. Certainly ambitious and innovative in many ways, the film on its technical side uses many a different way to tell the story I had never seen or even thought of but work in the movie's favor.
The film boasts an impressive cast top-lined by newcomer Caroline Barry as Bly, chosen by the producers through a worldwide star-search. Barry, who leads the feature with confidence and poise, embellishes on Nellie's investigative side. We are allowed to see more of what was surely internalized during Bly's stay in Blackwell's Asylum without it being too mellow-dramatic or corny. Barry brings the two into a balance and we are able to get into Nellie's head more often than not through a subtle narration. This structure also gives way to giving you the film word-by-word to Bly's memoirs, which were clearly and painstakingly followed by the filmmakers. Not a word of Bly's original text is overdone, not a moment is forgotten.
The film's most recognizable faces bring support to an already memorable film. Julia Chantrey (Mean Girls) plays Anne Neville. Chantrey gives Anne a very mysterious yet sympathetic edge and reminds us that though insanity comes in many forms, so does humanity. A climactic performance from Chantrey choked a few tears from my eye in a poignant moment of the film. Kelly Le Brock, famous for 80's flicks such as "Weird Science" and "The Woman in Red", gives an absolutely juicy performance in her appearance as cruel nurse Miss Grant. Le Brock's absence from the screen and her ultimate comeback in 10 DAYS is not without much needed relief as her moments in this film alone are priceless.
Along with them, quite possibly the most pleasant surprise comes from Christopher Lambert, also top-lining the cast as superintendent Dr. E.C. Dent. Unlike Le Brock, Christopher Lambert has been very active to the large and small screens, though he is most famous for his "Greystoke" and "Highlander" roles. But what he brings to 10 DAYS is clearly in his element (and in a much freer environment to act). His two-sided performance as Dr. Dent, who constantly turns a blind eye in favor of medical experimentation on the insane patients, gives the audience a see-sawing of villainous pride to understanding for the character. Lambert, as evidenced by this performance alone given the opportunity to breathe, is beyond underrated.
From subsequent newcomers and experienced actors also joining the ensemble, such as Alexandra Callas, Natalia Davidenko, Jessa Campbell and Andi Morrow, give incredibly beautiful and nuanced touches to their respective characters. From cruelty to sympathy, there is no place to take a breath as the film submerges you into the madhouse and doesn't allow you to come up for air. Though not a performance is out-of-place either. Nor overshadowing or undercooked. The film works because as a whole everything fits. There are many stand-out moments but as a whole the production works the best.
The story itself (as mentioned above) is not only told structurally in a manor as if Bly's book is being written as it is happening, but to coincide with this effect is also shot in a documentary-style of filmmaking. Though this would normally prove very distracting as it is more associated with modern story-telling, it works in the film's favor and never once removes you from its 1887 setting nor does it feel "modern". It compliments the movie's constant feeling of being watched and that an eye of a doctor or a nurse is never far to grab you and cut you off from all of civilization. This style also lends to the physical locations the production takes place in.
The absolutely beautiful locations give way to an 1887 that feels very rich and vibrant until Bly is taken to the asylum. The real-life abandoned asylum that stands in for Blackwell's is given a palette of dark greys and blacks which immediately removes us not only from reality, but pulls you into a darker place in the mind most humans do not experience. Impressive visual effects also lend a hand when modern-day amenities are not available. Such as Blackwell's Asylum (now Roosevelt Island), and even Blackwell's transport boat, serve as more innovation to the already impressively well-polished production. The limited resources that plague independent films clearly did not stand in the way of 10 DAYS nor its auteurs. This film is a beautiful story with an even greater message of how humanity treats each other when patience and resources wear thin. Its audience will find it. And I hope it is given the attention it so deserves.
This is one disturbing and shockingly intense movie! Film making at its
Little known reporter Nellie Bly shook up the world last century. Today what she did going undercover would be no big deal. But she was the first person to do such a stunt. This gal had courage. Huge courage. Bly deserves to be acknowledged and this movie does a great job expressing her first big stunt report job.
Christopher Lambert from Highlander is running the madhouse! That's not a spoiler, if you're on this page you know he's in the movie. He was great. Worth going to the film to see on the big screen.
Be warned: it's a bit of a chick flick. There are a few scattered scenes of women bonding and in one they sing together. Upside, massive cuties. Seriously, though, I loved this movie. Great cast and story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
10 Days in a Madhouse is another important film that reveals inequalities in our society. The story of the film is a true one based on Nellie Bly's book with the same title. In the late 1880s young women were being harshly mistreated, abused, and humiliated as if they were guilty for being cheated on, raped or simply not understood or heard. Reporter Nellie Bly takes on the job of getting inside an isolated (on an island in the East River, NYC) mental institution known on the outside (the city) for being corrupt. Are the stories true of what goes on in this institution? How can we know the truth unless inside the madhouse? To know the truth and report the truth to the people Nellie Bly pretends to be bonkers. She doesn't know her name, if she's American or Puerto Rican, she can't remember her parents' names. She convinces the poor desperate women of a half way home that she is indeed crazy and the police come and take her away and she ends up committed for the rest of her life to the mental institution she wanted to report on. Oh Dear Lord, how will she survive this death camp masquerading as a hospital, let alone get out and write a report about it? I don't need to spoil it all for you. Everything in the film is true and public knowledge. It's just disgraceful that Nellie Bly's story hasn't been embraced by Hollywood sooner. And probably the world would still be that dark and unfair if not for Nellie Bly (Caroline Barry) who dared to change the rules of the game. This is a ripping good film. I'm not the kind of gal that spends time chatting about stuff on the internet, but I had to say something about this movie because one, it spoke to me on multiple levels, two, it moved my heart repeatedly and three I believe it deserves to be seen everywhere.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"10 Days In A Madhouse" is the underdog hit film of the new year. Do all you can to go see this movie in the theaters. In my opinion, there is a great chance this film will turn into film classic. Nellie Bly pioneered investigative journalism by risking her very life to report the truth. This is that story. Brilliantly told in a way that sucks you through a black hole into post-Civil War New York City where you live and breathe just how hard it was to be a woman in 1880 and how far we've come. Caroline Barry shines as badass Nellie Brown and all the supporting cast are well-portrayed piercingly hard and rugged survivors of the era. What bravery. What courage. Awesome film.
I'm not really sure how to rate this film, but feel compelled to write a review, for no other reason than to warn people what they are about to see. The plot is interesting, but the movie feels like a high-school play. While it is a very important and amazing story that needed to be told, the production is abysmal. Only a 12 million dollar budget? OK, but, better acting alone would've made all the difference. The 10 star ratings are misleading; either fake, or written by Lifetime Movie lovers. And what was with the Kelly LeBrock cameo?? Weird. (and bad) I agree with another reviewer who suggested you read the book. I plan to do that, as soon as I get the imagery from this rubbish out of my head.
I knew I'd heard of 10 Days In A Madhouse, so when it popped up in the new videos on demand my friends and I downloaded it. Our group was divided. The girls and I absolutely loved it so much I'm writing this review. The guys didn't really care after a while, which caused much debate and arguing. This movie was so riveting and emotionally trying, everyone cried. But the guys didn't appreciate Nellie Bly's sacrifice and mission to bring out the truth and help make the world better for women. I was really disappointed at the apathy the guys showed. I recommend this movie to everyone. Nellie Bly did so much for women's rights that we all need to know her and be inspired by her. Caroline Barry, the actress who played Nellie Bly, was exceptionally good. She reminded me of the young Mary Tyler Moore in Thoroughly Modern Millie and a very young Rachel McAdams. We followed deeply with her through her investigation and at the end, I felt like I knew her, that she was a best friend. I really hope you see this and add it to your list of recommendations. I put it up there alongside Room, G.I. Jane and Erin Brockovich.
This is definitely going to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Timothy Hines instantly pulled the viewer into a disturbing yet captivating realm of our country's not-so-distant past. Truly horrifying story but not beyond the realm of possibilities within the 19th century. The true sadness is that such horrors as depicted are still taking place in some mental institutions all over the world. Well acted, unsettling and Very touching film. Caroline Barry is incredible. Alexandra Callas and Julia Chantrey are my new favorite actresses, too. Oh, some Seriously creepy doctors too. Some of the scenes are so powerful, that you can't get over them. And why is it being played in selected theaters? This is a fantastic drama! And with such stars as Christopher Lambert, Caroline Barry and Kelly LeBrock, it should be available on more screens.
After reading Nellie Bly's article, 10 Days in a Madhouse, I was
pleased to find out there was a movie to be made about it. I finally
had the chance to see the movie and I can truly say that I enjoyed it.
While the CGI effects may be sub-par to what we as an audience are used to, it does not take away from the film itself. The story is solid and the emotions it invokes are real.
Caroline Barry is fantastic as Nellie Bly. I feel that her portrayal was spot-on and was intrigued by her from the start. She brings Nellie Bly to life and you find yourself cheering her on as she goes forth on her mission.
10 Days in a Madhouse not afraid to explore the mistreatment of the women in the asylum. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the film covers almost all of what was in the article. To see what these poor women went through was sobering and also anger-inducing. It makes me angry to think that these women were left there to be mistreated until they more than likely died.
It might not be the greatest film in the world nor do I think it will be winning an Oscar any time soon. While being a little rough around the edges, I think it was still great, powerful and moving overall.
When I saw Christopher Lambert was in the movie and read the synopsis,
I was under the impression that this was going to be a genre picture,
but I was pleasantly surprise to discover the serious tone the movie
10 Days in a Madhouse was actually a true event in which a young reporter named Nelle Bly starts her successful career in journalism by doing an article on the mistreatment of women at Blackwell's Asylum, by going undercover as a patient.
10 days in a Madhouse does a good job in showcasing this mistreatment. It was hard watching these women, who were not crazy when they entered the place, being treated like animals, by people who just don't care. I felt the same way when I saw Suffragette, Another recent movie that is also about the mistreatment of women around the same time.
Lambert actual plays a head doctor who thinks he's doing the right thing but is blinded by his own ego. Though his acting was not outstanding, this is most likely the most important film he has done. With the exception of Kelly LeBrook who has a small role in the film, It's a cast of fresh new actresses I have not scene before.
If only the filmmakers were able to get a bigger budget for this movie to work out the kinks in the visual effects. The CGI used to make New York in the late 1800s was very distracting, but still, the movie is so impressive for what seem like limited resources.
It's an impressive effort in filmmaking
I was so looking forward to seeing this and I knew that it was an
independent movie made without a Hollywood budget. However, nothing
could have prepared me for what I was about to see.
First, hats off to Caroline Barry who did quite well considering what she was given. She rose above the rest and seems to be the one actor who will possibly get recognized in the film industry. I wish her the best of luck. The same can be said for Christopher Lambert although some might consider his performance "hammy". He was not just a villain and by the end of the movie I almost felt sorry for him. Unfortunately, practically all other acting was just unbelievably terrible. I can't stress that enough. It's really bad.
Secondly, it was strange to see how some special effects (e.g. the exterior shots of the city streets) looked absolutely fabulous and yet others, mainly the exterior shots of the asylum, looked poor. The biggest disappointment was how some sets were shot on location yet many looked fake... like they were poorly green-screened or something. It was so distracting. The sound was horrible as well. There was so much echo in almost every scene. The lighting was also bad so the picture quality suffered to varying degrees. The weirdest thing was that the picture looked jittery. It looked like a few frames just suddenly dropped out so people were sometimes "stuttering" as they moved. The sound was unaffected though. No skips or anything during these moments.
Perhaps the most perplexing thing about the movie is the R-rating for "disturbing scenes". The violence and atrocities lost all impact due to the overall amateurish production and bad acting. I just can't understand, given today's standards of movie classifications, how anything over PG-13 was given. In fact I could see a PG-rating being given before an R-rating.
I just don't understand it. The budget is estimated at $12 million but it is definitely NOT seen on screen. My best advice would be to read the book and use your imagination.
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