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Girl, Interrupted [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall, Brittany Murphy, Elisabeth Moss
  • Directors: James Mangold
  • Producers: Douglas Wick, Cathy Konrad
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Uca Catalogue
  • DVD Release Date: 16 April 2007
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002Z9WD4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,032 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

New England, the 1960s. 17-year-old Susanna (Winona Ryder) is diagnosed as suffering a borderline personality disorder and sent to Claymore psychiatric hospital. Once there, she rejects the treatment of psychiatrist Dr Wick (Vanessa Redgrave) and nurse Valerie (Whoopi Goldberg), turning instead to her fellow inmates - the disruptive Lisa (Angelina Jolie), compulsive liar Georgina (Clea DuVall), and spoilt rich girl Daisy (Brittany Murphy), who suffers from an eating disorder.

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on Susanna Kaysen's acclaimed journal-memoir, Girl, Interrupted bears inevitable resemblance to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and pale comparison to that earlier classic is impossible to avoid. The mental institution settings of both films guarantee a certain degree of déjà vu and at least one Oscar winner (in this case, Angelina Jolie), since playing a loony is any actor's dream gig. Unfortunately, director James Mangold seems to have misplaced the depth and delicacy of his underrated debut, Heavy, despite a great deal of earnest effort by everyone involved. It's easy to see why Winona Ryder chose to star in (and executive-produce) this nearly worthy adaptation of Kaysen's book, since it's a strong vehicle for female casting and potent drama. Mangold certainly got the former; whether he succeeded with the latter is not so clear. To be sure, Ryder conveys the confusion and chaos that signified Kaysen's life during nearly 18 months of voluntary institutionalisation beginning in 1967. But the film seems too eager to embrace the cliché that the "crazies" of the Claymoore women's ward are saner than the war-torn world outside, and lack of narrative focus gives way to semipredictable character study.

Susanna (Ryder) is labeled with "borderline personality disorder," a diagnosis as ambiguous as her own emotions, and while Jolie chews the scenery as the resident bad-girl sociopath, Ryder effectively conveys an odyssey from vulnerable fear to self-awareness and, finally, to healing. The ensemble cast is uniformly superb, making this drama well worthwhile, even as it treads familiar territory. If it ultimately lacks dramatic impact, Girl, Interrupted makes it painfully clear that the boundaries of dysfunction are hazy in a world where everyone's crazy once in a while. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By RD VINE VOICE on 13 May 2006
Format: DVD
A wonderful film with brilliant acting from the whole cast.

Winona Ryder plays the main character who narrates a tale of being admitted into a mental institute after trying to kill herself. Jaded with life and without a long term plan for the future that involves marrying and reproducing Susanna Kaysen is considered unstable. Diagnosis - borderline personality disorder.

In the institute she meets people the general public would consider the 'real crazies'.... As the story unfolds however we learn to see each of them as individuals and the stories behind why they are who they are...

Angelina Jolie's performance as a sociopath is unbelievable. The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw this was 'she absolutely and totally deserved that oscar.' If you've written her off as an actress give her one more shot with this movie and I guarantee you will change your mind.

Based on the book by Susanna Kaysen this is a true life story about self discovery and a must see movie... You may well laugh or cry. Maybe even both.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By barenakedlady on 24 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
'Crazy isn't being broken, or swallowing a dark secret. It's you, or me, amplified...'
Girl, Interrupted is an incredible film, insightful and memorable. Winona Ryder identifies in one of the DVD interviews that the book appears impossible to adapt, but all involved with the film have done a terrific job here. The film manages to stick very closely to the book and yet still tell a coherent story; anyone who's read Kaysen's biography will know that this is no small achievement! The characters' relationships with themselves and each other are at turns heartwarming and heartbreaking. Angelina Jolie does a particularly excellent job playing the magnetic Lisa, but all the cast give great performances.
The DVD extras are very good, and it's particularly interesting to see the deleted scenes offer a little bit more insight into some of the characters. The film's music is also worth a mention, with some really great song choices.
This film is resonating and beautiful, and in short, I can't recommend it highly enough. Go watch it already.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "killerrubberduckqueen" on 12 Jun. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ignore the critics - it's way too easy just to call Girl, Interrupted a 'Cuckoo's Nest with women'. The story and the atmosphere are both completely different.
Girl, Interrupted is based on a true story about one young woman's stay inside a psychiatric hospital. Eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen is questionably diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and spends nearly two years on the ward for teenage girls - where she chooses to befriend her fellow inmates, a group of troubled young women.
If you think all movies set in mental institutions are depressing, think again - Girl, Interrupted is often amusing and uplifting, as well as dark and haunting. It has a brilliant cast - Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg, Brittany Murphy, Vanessa Redgrave and Jared Leto, to name but a few, are all outstanding in this compelling drama. Ryder's portrayal of Susanna Kaysen has been called 'weak' by the critics, which is ridiculous. Her performance isn't exactly powerful, but it's one of her best performances to date. Admittedly, though, Jolie outshines Ryder in this movie - she deservedly won an Oscar for her portrayal of fiesty sociopath Lisa Rowe, and anyone who saw 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' and then branded Jolie a 'terrible actress' should see this. Her performance alone is worth seeing this movie for - being an Angelina Jolie fan, you could accuse me of being biased, of course - but she is undeniably brilliant in this movie, bringing the screen to life with huge amounts of energy and emotion. Brittany Murphy is also superb in this movie, despite being slightly overlooked by the two lead characters.
Overall, Girl, Interrupted is a moving, inspirational drama. It's one of my favourite movies of all time, with one of my favourite performances from one of my favourite actresses. I recommend watching the movie with the director's commentary at least once - it's interesting and will provide you with lots of little-known information about the movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 April 2003
Format: VHS Tape
A powerful drama, certainly more so for the feminine persuasion, that is both moving and inspiring. It is also, definitely, the best performances I have seen from both Jolie and Ryder so far. The supporting cast is also very good, not just Goldberg but all of the women support actually pull together well. The full extent of the film is not altogether developed but what has been is more than adequate.
The story is wholly believable and the build up to events is fairly well executed by Mangold and the film moves continuously with flash backs, and side events placed smoothly within the story and used expertly to fill in glimpses of Susanna’s (Ryder) past to aid in the movement of the film. Mostly, the cast holds the film together; the notion of these people being more real than the outside world isn’t portrayed too strongly, but as mentioned in the Amazon Review we have the more well-known “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” for that.
Overall a very good film, well acted, that stirs emotion and challenges our perception of the world (to what success is up to the viewer) but mostly makes a significantly heart-warming film that shouldn’t be overlooked because of the resemblance to the said well-known classic.
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