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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The title SMASHED may make you think this is some lurid story about alcoholism but it's not. It's a very straightforward, sensitive treatment on the subject of addiction as seen through the eyes of an elementary schoolteacher, Hannah, beautifully played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in one of the best performances this year. Winstead is wonderfully authentic as a young woman whose excessive drinking begins to interfere with her job. She's someone we don't expect to find battling this kind of problem which makes the film all the more poignant. Her marriage to a rather shiftless man who spends his time drinking and cavorting with friends doesn't help. As we learn more about her past we begin to understand how she ended up in this relationship. The good supporting cast includes Aaron Paul as her husband, Charlie, who's even more oblivious than Hannah; Oscar winner Octavia Spencer adds some humor to the otherwise grim gospel of withdrawal and recovery; Megan Mullally is the principal of Hannah's school; Nick Offerman is a colleague who takes an interest in Hannah's troubles and Mary Kay Place is her mother who insists she can still mix a great Bloody Mary. The screenplay by director James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke is determined to avoid the melodramatic pitfalls and clichés of similar stories and purposely takes a lighthearted, sometimes comedic approach. SMASHED is an honest, contemporary look at the bad choices we make and impact they have on our lives.
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