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Girl, Interrupted (1999) artwork

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

1st January 2000

Based on writers Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18 month stay at a mental hospital in the turbulent 60's, two time Oscar nominee Winona Ryder stars as Susan in the fascinating true story of a life altering stay at the famous Claymoore psychiatric hospital.
Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea Du Vail, Brittany Murphy, Elizabeth Moss, Vanessa Redgrave, Whoopi Goldberg
Drama
1
2 Hours 7 Minutes

Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school with the unenviable note of being the only person in the year not going the college. When Susanna is rushed to hospital with an overdose of aspirin and a bottle of vodka, she denies it was a suicide attempt. When her psychiatrist questionably diagnoses her with a Borderline Personality Disorder he recommends a short stay in a private mental hospital.

Although not forced to attend the hospital, she checks herself in and soon finds herself rebelling against the head nurse and hospital psychiatrist choosing instead to befriend the inmates with their wide range of problems. However, if Susanna is to ever gain her freedom she must come to terms with her problem and the person who terrifies her the most - herself.

The picture is bright, clear and sharp with no artifacting and has an above average bit-rate throughout the film. The editing is also commendable with Susanna's many flashbacks seamlessly blending in to the scenario. However, the sound is a little bizarre. Although mainly dialogue based, the surround channel doesn't appear to be used until the middle of the film when a musical score suddenly appears in the rears.

The menu is static but their are plenty of extras and a useful directors commentary. Although the film is over two hours in length there are a number of deleted scenes which the director informs us were removed because it would have pushed the film to nearly three hours. Shame really, perhaps there will be a "directors cut" appearing at a later date.

The acting here is simply outstanding. Angelina Jolie, who plays the disturbing sociopath Lisa, truly deserved her Oscar for best supporting actress. Her acting is stunning as the troublesome inmate who constantly escapes and whose personality dominates the ward.

Conversely, how Winona Ryder avoided an award amazes me as she simply shines and it must be her most powerful appearance to date. Her portrayal of a woman struggling to come to terms with her problem is extremely convincing and intense. The other members of the cast also produce some marvellous performances with Brittany Murphy, Elizabeth Moss and Whoopi Goldberg, in another serious role, standing out.

  • Director's Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary
  • HBO First Look : The Making of "Girl, Interrupted"
  • Isolated Music Score
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Talent Files
  • Production Notes
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