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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all round brilliance
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...
Published on 13 May 2006 by RD

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood does mental illness with mixed results
Focussing on the character of Susanna (Winona Ryder) who is put into a mental institution due to a personality disorder, 'Girl, Interrupted' charts her relationship with fellow patients, in particular that of Lisa (Angelina Jolie). Although it is important and valuable for cinema to portray issues of mental health on screen, 'Girl, Interrupted' is not at its heart about...
Published on 20 Jun 2010 by Andrew Mcguinness


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all round brilliance, 13 May 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Girl, Interrupted [DVD] (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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Add this to your list of must-sees!, 24 Feb 2006
This review is from: Girl, Interrupted [DVD] (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a 'female Cuckoo's Nest', 12 Jun 2005
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb And Enjoyable Film, 25 April 2003
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 12 Nov 2001
By A Customer
It's been a long time since a film touched me like this one did. As the credits rolled i was in floods of tears. This incredible group of actresses portray their character's respective problems exactly. I thought this film may be a bit to close to home to watch, but I'm so glad that I watched it anyway.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, never lets go... And Angelina Jolie? Superb., 3 Sep 2006
This review is from: Girl, Interrupted [DVD] (DVD)
At first, I was weary of seeing Girl, Interrupted, for fear of it being a chick-flick or another cliche-ridden carbon copy of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Just 15 minutes into the movie, however, and I realised that this was not the case.

The story is well-crafted, the direction is good, the script is superb- but what really stands out is the acting. The entire cast in "Girl, Interrupted" is nothing short of amazing. This movie was made in 1999, and yet even 7 years later, I must admit that, apart from one or two notable exceptions, no performances come to mind that even come close to those in Girl, Interrupted.

Winona Ryder's somewhat understated performance as the protagonist is excellent, for instance.

This, however, is really Angelina Jolie's movie. Jolie steals the show as Lisa, a raving sociopath who's power and magnetism cannot help but elicit compassion or even attachment from the audience despite the fact that, objectively, she is a wholly unsympathetic character.

Angelina Jolie's oscar-winning performance is so resonant that, despite the fact that the cast is terrific, when Jolie is on the scene everyone else might as well just lie down and play dead.

Special commendations must be made for avoiding the pitfalls of usual looneybin cliches.

All in all this is a powerful, emotionally complex and haunting movie that never lets go, even after the credits have stopped rolling. A must-see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 25 Jan 2008
By 
marky77 (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Girl, Interrupted [DVD] (DVD)
This truely is one of the best movies ever made, I love it so much.

Based on the novel by Susanna Kaysen about the 18 months she spent in a mental institution for depression and Borderline Personality Disorder when she was 18 (which is a true story). Although I think that anybody would enjoy this movie, it's special to me because I also suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder myself and it's nice to see a movie which handles the subject sensitively.

Borderline Personality Disorder was a very controversial diagnosis in the 1960s (when this movie takes place), as even less was known about it than is now. Very little research was done into it back but the general diagnosis criteria and known sympoms were still the same:

1. Extreme black and white thinking (unable to see the grey area).
2. Unstable relationships characterised between feelings of idealation (love and adoration) and devaluation (anger and dislike).
3. Impulsivity, usually in self-destructive areas (e.g. binge eating, alcohol abuse, reckless driving, excessive spending and building up debt).
4. Mood swings between base (normal) mood, anxiety, irritability and depression.
5. Suicides threats or attempts or self mutilation (cutting, punching etc)
6. Irrational (to others) fear of abandonment and of being alone.
7. Outbursts of anger.
8. Shakey sence of self image - unsure about life goals, ambitions and belives such as what type of friends and lovers to have, carrer paths an sexual orientation.
9. Chronic and persistant feelings of emptyness (also described as boredom or loneliness).

The move is nicely paced and gets Susanna into the mental hospital within the first 10 or 15 minutes.

The characters include Polly (a schizophrenic who purposely set herself on fire as a child); Janet (an anorexic); Geogina, Susanna's room-mate (a pathological liar) and Lisa (a sociopath). The characters are all amazing well fleshed out and acted. They have very real and brilliantly acted emotions and personalities and are very beliveable as real people.

Susanna (Winona Ryder) and Lisa (Angelina Jolie) are particularly good in this movie.

A stunning and moving story of Susanna's illness and recovery and the nature of people and of mental ilness. It does a wonderfull job of removing some of the stigma that people associate with mental illness.

I would reccomend this movie in particular to people who are interested in mental illness or psychology or have such an ilness themselves (especially BPD) but also to anybody looking for a good movie. This is one of the best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appeals to a particular audience, 30 Oct 2004
By A Customer
I love this film so much and never tire of watching it. The acting is superb and the casting is amazing.
I would go on, but I think the film has been reviewed enough times so you get the idea. I do have one thing to add though, and that is that I think this film appeals to a very particular audience,maybe this is the reason for the mixed reviews from critics. People who have suffered from clinical depression or another mental illness (or who have friends and relatives who suffer from it) may recognise this as a very real and touching potrayal, whilst those who have not may not be able to fully appreciate just what a good job the film does. Obviously there will be people who enjoy and appreciate the film who have never had these problems and vice versa, but I thought it was a point worth making.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, disturbing, and insightful, 24 Nov 2003
By A Customer
I suffer from BPD like Susannah Kaysen, and it is such a relief to have a film to really relate to. I'm grateful to her for writing the book, and a film being made out of it, as it is a very accurate portrayal of having a personality disorder. I watched it at the worst of my depression, and though while I watched it, it made me feel even more depressed and bleak, afterwards, it made me think hard about my life. I showed the film to my parents and some friends, and it gave them more of an insight into what I have been through.Obviously other people wouldn't be watching it for the same reasons as me, but they cannot fail to be affected by the emotions portayed in this film. Jolie is as ever brilliant, as too are Winona Ryder and Brittany Murphy. As I said, it made me feel very down while watching it, but that just shows how powerful the film is, it will make you think, and hopefully change your perception of the mentally ill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You gotta see this film, 11 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I would recommend this to anyone, Angelinas performance is outstanding and u cant take your eyes off her during the film. Her character just sucks you up. Its not the kind of film that you watch once, then it goes to the back of the shelf and collects dust, you will want to watch this again and again, it is fantastic. I HIGHLY recommend it. Its a MUST for any Angelina Jolie fan.
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Girl, Interrupted [DVD]
Girl, Interrupted [DVD] by James Mangold (DVD - 2007)
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