In 1993, (the year I was born) author Susanna Kaysen published a memoir titled, “Girl Interrupted.” The book is about her experiences at a mental hospital after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. As she stays for two years recovering her mental state, she writes about her encounters with the patients and hospital staff. The book later caught Winona Ryder & Sony Pictures’ attention to adapt it on the silver screen. It took them five years to find a decent script due to Susanna’s book not told in a Three Act Structure. After Winona saw “Heavy directed by then newcomer James “Jim” Mangold, (Cop Land Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma, Logan) she managed to persuade Jim by helping her & Sony adapt it. He accepts the offer. After a year of putting everything together, the film was finally distrusted worldwide.
Girl Interrupted was released in 1999. (same year Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia came out) It received mixed reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Despite divisive reactions, Angelina Jolie took home “Best Supporting Actress” winning at The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes & The Screen Actors Guil (SAG for short) beating Cholë Sevigny for her performance in “Boys Don’t Cry.” Today, Girl Interrupted earned its status as one of James Mangold’s best works next to “Cop Land,” “Walk The Line,” “3:10 To Yuma,” “Ford VS. Ferrari” and last but not least, “Logan.” Ranked as my fifth favorite movie.
There’s a variety of reasons why wanted to review Girl Interrupted. Number 1, James Mangold is onboard to direct the fifth “Indiana Jones” installment slated for a 2022 release date with Harrison Ford gearing up one last time. Number 2, Winona Ryder will reprise her role as Joyce Byers in the upcoming fourth season of “Stranger Things” streaming in 2021. Number 3, Angelina Jolie will co-starred in the upcoming Marvel film “The Eternals” in Fall 2021. Number 4, Elizabeth Moss is coming back as June Osborne in the upcoming forth season of “The Handmaids Tale.” Number 5, Whoopi Goldberg is in another adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand” streaming on CBS All Access/Paramount Plus. Number 6, Jared Leto will reprise his role as Joker in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” streaming in March 2021. Don’t forget his upcoming movie as “Morbius,” also coming in March 2021. Phew! Don’t forget to mark every single movie and show on your calendar.
Today’s review doesn’t contain no very important SPOILERS listed. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Is Girl Interrupted a hit or a miss for Mr. Mangold? Let’s get to the bottom of this shall we?
Quiet & Loud Aspects
Quiet: Winona Ryder & Angelina Jolie both an excellent job for their respective performances. Winona co-produced the film.
Other Cast Members such as Whoopi Goldberg, Brittany Murphy, (may she Rest In Peace) Elizabeth Moss, Clea DuVall, (director of Happiest Season) Kurtwood Smith, (Clarence Boddicker from the original RoboCop) Jeffery Tambor (too bad he’s a panty sniffer in real life) Vanessa Redgrave & Jared Leto all did a great job for their respective performances.
James Mangold did a fantastic job writing and directing the film. He may have watched “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” as a guide to help him craft a Three Act Structure. He also used “The Wizard Of Oz” books and beloved classic film as a source in order to avoid making a carbon copy of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Proving Jim is not a rip-off artist like Gus Van Sant filming a shot-for-shot remake of “Psycho.”
The film is set in The 60’s back when Susanna was young.
Cinematography never suffered from a bad case of Shaky Cam throughout.
Chemistry between Susanna & Lisa serves as one of the main highlights. They’re polar opposites. As the film progresses, their friendship becomes closer.
Susanna has some flashbacks about her daily life prior to being committed to the mental hospital. Basically shows how she got here.
Although a serious drama, the film has some funny moments that made me laugh so hard. Angelina’s comedic delivery deserves an Extra Point.
One scene shows Lisa watching footage of Disneyland. Angelina went on to portray “Maleficent” and its sequel “Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil.”
If you’ve played “Fallout 4,” one crucial scene plays the song, “End Of The World.” Todd Howard & Bethesda must’ve seen Girl Interrupted. I miss the good ol’ days when Bethesda had dignity. “Fallout 76” made them a “Big Fat Liar” like Paul Giamatti’s character Marty Wolf.
If you have a sensitive side, you’ll probably tear up. Make sure not to bring a bowl of onions.
Loud: I couldn’t find anything wrong with this movie. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless movie as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Girl Interrupted is one of James Mangold’s best works. Some of the good stuff I’ve listed are the reasons why it’s not as bad as I thought I would be. If you want to watch this movie Jim’s upcoming Indiana Jones 5 comes out in 2022, now is the time to watch it immediately.