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Girl, Interrupted

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 03/11/00 01:34:04

"Ultimately... soft. Slow. Long. Without any real point. But okay."
3 stars (Average)

It's tough to adapt a book to screen. Especially a long one. Especially a long one that lots of people read and liked. But it's even harder when you cast Ms Winona "emotion of salmon" Ryder as your lead. Can this chick play anything other than 'mildly disturbed, misunderstood, ready to cry' girl? Still riding (no pun intended) on the success of her teen outings like Heathers and Beetlejuice, the rough-Ryder doesn't have the horsepower to share the screen with a turbo-charged thespianic machine such as Angelina Jolie. In fact it's the one-upsmanship that Jolie constantly beats Ryder down with that makes this film even remotely interesting at all.

Winona is a little fruitbasket-ish. Her folks don't get her, so they send her on to a little institution. As you do.

Angelina is a sociopath. I don't think she even has folks. Except that Voight fellow, but he died in The Champ, so he's not about to come lend her $5.

Then there's the anhorexic, the molested one, the burned one, the lesbian, the schizo... hey! It's a nut-house stereotype pyjama party! Where's the one who plays the Danny DeVito/Cuckoo's Nest rip-off? They had one of him in Instinct, there must be one here. Chief, put down that water cooler and come watch the world series, fer cryin' out loud.

But seriously folks, if we wanted to watch mental kiddies getting themselves into all manner of strife, wouldn't we just open a window and check out the neighbours? Seriously, we know Winona is a fucked unit, in reality and on screen. Do we need it explained to us over two hours?

Angelina Jolie is one dark character. I can see her pulling a Courtney Love one day and driving someone to shoot an ear off. Perfect for this role, perfect for just about any role. Except maybe that Pushing Tin thing she got sucked into. Oy.

So enough of the glib remarks, you want to know if the movie is worth seeing or you clearly would have searched for The Big Lebowski by now. Well it is worth watching. If your only other choice is Ernest Sniffs His Armpit or a Madonna movie. Otherwise, it's only worth watching for Jolie. This kid, whether she's on the junk or not, she can act the house down. Between her and Cate Blanchett, you've got about 92% of the current total female acting talent in Hollywood concentrated in two people. What's that you say? Paltrow? She couldn't show sincere emotion if you sawed off one of her limbs. Chloe Sevigny? White trash specialist. Streep? "A dingow stole moi bay-bay!" - I think not. No, female acting right now is like female tennis. It's Jolie and Blanchett and the rest turn up and claim a cheque.

So, in closing, is Girl Interrupted good? Nope. Is it watchable? Yep, but you're likely to fast forward at least twice. You have a life, after all.

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