In 1967, Susanna Kaysen had a headache and chased a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka. This landed her in the mental institution, Claymoore. Here she is diagnosed, by Dr. Melvin Potts, with borderline personality disorder. When she arrives at Claymoore, she is greeted by Nurse Valerie Owens and shown round the woman's ward. Here she meets Georgina Tuskin, a pathological liar who is fixated with The Wizard of Oz; Polly Clark, a childlike schizophrenic; Janet Webber, a sardonic anorexic patient; Daisy Randone, a girl who won't let anyone in her room, and only eats her father's chicken; and Lisa Rowe, a sociopath who controls the other patients, and makes lives hard for the nurses at Claymoore. Through the movie, Lisa gains and loses control over Susanna and we see how bad she really can be. The movie's ending shows Susanna being released from Claymoore after an 18-month stay. How does Susanna take back her control? This movie battles subjects such as mental heath, abuse, ...
Angelina Jolie avoided any communication with Winona Ryder when making the movie, claiming that if she saw anything human about Winona Ryder, she would not have been able to act out the sociopath character Lisa Rowe as effectively. See more »
When Susanna is talking to an employee at her high school about her plans for college and her career, she says she's not going to burn her bra, drop acid, or march on Washington. The bra burning story was published in 1968, not 1967 when Susanna was in high school. See more »
Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60s. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
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Director James Mangold states in the DVD commentary that the original cut was three hours long. This version has not been shown publicly nor released on any media; however, the DVD contains 15 minutes of the scenes deleted from the final cut. See more »
Director James Mangold hits a slight interruption of his own...
After being touched by the sensitive film "Heavy", I couldn't wait to see what would happen with director James Mangold. This brash, barbed, insightful and touching drama is the result, and although it has problems, you end up caring about a lot of people you might otherwise try to avoid. Winona Ryder's performance as a young woman being treated for psychological problems in the all-girl wing of an institution in the late 1960s is very fine; she's mannered at times and a little coy, but she seems a sweet puppet with her wires cut, a bobbing head doll, and one never grows tired of her. Angelina Jolie won a Supporting Oscar as the lead troublemaker, and it is a ferocious bit of acting, but her character is an enigma--playful at times, then cruelly straightforward--and Jolie has to work extra hard to give her depth. I was perplexed by some of Mangold's touches (like having one character commit suicide while listening to the Skeeter Davis record "The End of the World", ha ha); but the sneaky trip away from the hospital that Ryder and Jolie take is an amazing section that works rough magic all on its own. Whoopi Goldberg isn't bad as the main nurse on the floor, but a complacent Goldberg is an automatic anticlimax and I don't understand Mangold's casting here. However, the film displays on occasion the work of someone wonderful breaking through, and there are many heartfelt sequences, quick and quirky editing techniques. For anyone bemoaning the obvious ("Not another institution movie!"), this should be a pleasant surprise. *** from ****
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