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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

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Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

Director:

James Mangold

Writers:

Susanna Kaysen (book), James Mangold (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,330 ( 150)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Winona Ryder ... Susanna
Angelina Jolie ... Lisa
Clea DuVall ... Georgina (as Clea Duvall)
Brittany Murphy ... Daisy
Elisabeth Moss ... Polly
Jared Leto ... Tobias Jacobs
Jeffrey Tambor ... Dr. Potts
Vanessa Redgrave ... Dr. Wick
Whoopi Goldberg ... Valerie
Angela Bettis ... Janet
Jillian Armenante ... Cynthia
Drucie McDaniel Drucie McDaniel ... M-G
Alison Claire Alison Claire ... Gretta
Christina Myers ... Margie
Joanna Kerns ... Annette
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Storyline

Unable to cope with reality and the difficulty that comes with it, 18 year old Susanna, is admitted to a mental institution in order to overcome her disorder. However, she has trouble understanding her disorder and therefore finds it difficult to tame, especially when she meets the suggestive and unpredictable Lisa. Written by Toni

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The crazy thing is, you're not crazy. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and content relating to drugs, sexuality and suicide | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inocencia interrumpida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,399, 26 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$28,912,646, 31 December 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,350,205, 31 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Alex Rubin: The guy who first starts dancing with Susanna Kaysen at the post-graduation party. See more »

Goofs

The girls in the hospital are shown watching The Wizard of Oz during the daytime. In the 1960s, The Wizard of Oz was only broadcast once a year around Easter and only during the evening. Since this movie takes place before the availability of the VCR there's no way they could have been watching this movie during the day, but, since recording devices of the type did exist at that time, and since the original work was not a linear story, it could be that they could simply have it in a different format. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Susanna: [narrating] 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Director James Mangold states in the DVD commentary that the original cut was 3 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Best Years: Girl Interupted (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Bookends
Written by Paul Simon
Performed by Simon & Garfunkel (as Simon and Garfunkel)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brief critique-- 9/10 Excellent drama and lyric insight
27 January 2000 | by moviebuffgirlSee all my reviews

I came to the film with low expectations. I was simply stunned by how good it was.

Angelina Jolie is an absolutely PHENOMENAL actress. Her performance alone is worth watching the movie for. But unlike show-stoppers like Marissa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinnie," merely shines the brightest light in a luminescent cast.

The cinematography was innovative, but not distractingly so-- "Girl Interupted" shines primarily for its dramatic power, not as a mind-blowing work of art. It will not explode your vision of the mundane world in the same way that "American Beauty" might, but it will certainly probe you to question your way of seeing the world-- at least psychologically.

Winona Ryder challenged my preconception of her, and proved herself as more than a pretty-girl. Her performance was convincing as Suzanna, a confused high-school graduate who is eloquent and insightful on paper yet unable to a rticulate her own desperate melancholy.

The movie takes place primarily in the women's ward of a mental institution and follows the dynamic friendship between Lisa (Jolie's character) and Suzanna. Lisa is a kinetic, dynamic personality who cuts right to the "truth" of things. Her "truth" knows no boundaries and she is a controlling person prone to violence. Her piercing insights about people and social recklessness led to her to be institutionalized as a sociopath.

This is not a depressing film. Rather, it is suprisingly life-affirming. Not cloying, not sacherine, but not inpenetrably dark, either. Anyone seeking an angst-ridden portrayal of abuses in mental institutions should check out Jack Nicholson's "One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest."

This film has little of the violent anger of that old classic. Yet it does echo some of the ebulience, the defiance of authority and embracing of freedom at sometimes incalculable cost.

Performances by Whoppie Goldberg (in a serious and nuanced role) and Vanessa Redgrave were excellent, as expected.

With the exception of a few holywood gimmicks, predictable cuts and music, this is a nearly flawless film. Dead-on dramatically, and excellently scripted and based on an eloquent true-story by Suzana Keisen, this movie offers a glimpse of one intensely personal experience of truth. Without the quotation marks, dark cynicism, or pretensions that revelation so frequently entails.


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