Girl, Interrupted (1999)

girl interrupted poster 1999 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good cast

Sometimes feels like it thinks too highly of itself

Movie Info

Movie Name: Girl, Interrupted

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s): December 21, 1999

MPAA Rating: R

girl interrupted winona ryder whoopie goldberg

Well…this isn’t the best retreat I’ve ever been to

Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) has made a mistake.  Taking an overdose of pills, doctors have advised her to take a break to reassess her life.  Susanna is convinced to check into the Claymoore Hospital where she learns that her problems may barely register when compared to some of the other patients.  When Susanna befriends a sociopath named Lisa (Angelina Jolie), Susanna’s problems seem to become worse…and getting out of Claymoore might not be as easy as getting in.

Directed by James Mangold, Girl, Interrupted is a drama based on the 1993 memoir by Susanna Kaysen.  The film received mixed to positive reviews.  The movie won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Jolie).

girl interrupted brittany murphy

Enjoy some chicken

I liked One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest a lot…in fact, I watched the movie too much.  Girl, Interrupted (though not a fiction film like Cuckoo’s Nest) is a lot like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but unlike One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, it feels like Girl, Interrupted tries too hard.

Though it is pointed out near the end of the movie, Winona Ryder’s character comes off as holier than thou through most of the film which makes her rather unlikable.  She tries to emulate Jolie’s “I don’t care” attitude at points, but she doesn’t do much to take responsibility for her own actions.  This is the character’s arch, but it feels like there is endearment for her character when she doesn’t really deserve it.

girl interrupted lisa angelina jolie

Yeah…I’m cool…and cold

The cast is loaded.  Winona Ryder is too old for the character, but her wide doe-eyed look gives her a younger appearance.  Angelina Jolie does excel as the sociopathic Lisa who comes off as cool but shows her coldness and lack of empathy when pressed.  It has a lot of young stars in the film including Brittany Murphy, Elisabeth Moss, Jared Leto, and Angela Bettis.  Kurtwood Smith, Joanna Kerns, Jeffrey Tambor, Vanessa Redgrave, and Mary Kay Place all have roles in the films.  Whoopi Goldberg is good as the head nurse Valerie, but I like the character more when she is forced to voice frustration.

The movie does a nice job capturing the 1960s style hospital, but once again it is very reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  It would have been nice to see a bit more of the clinical aspect of the film and how treatments for women might have been different from men.

Girl, Interrupted isn’t bad, but it does borderline pretentious at times.  The movie is a great performance for Jolie who is hypnotic in her role and is given a meaty role.  It takes more than Jolie however to make the film and it only comes out as a “good” film instead of a “great” film.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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