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Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

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(book), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Georgina (as Clea Duvall)
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Drucie McDaniel ...
M-G
Alison Claire ...
Gretta
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Storyline

Unable to cope with reality and the difficulty that comes with it, 18 year old Susanna, is admitted to a mental institution in order to overcome her disorder. However, she has trouble understanding her disorder and therefore finds it difficult to tame, especially when she meets the suggestive and unpredictable Lisa. Written by Toni

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and content relating to drugs, sexuality and suicide | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inocencia interrumpida  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$95,399 (USA) (26 December 1999)

Gross:

$28,871,190 (USA) (30 April 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(26 March 2000) Angelina Jolie's attendance at the Academy Awards was not her first. At just 10-years-old, she sat beside her father Jon Voight when he was up for the Best Actor Oscar for Runaway Train (1985). (Voight lost to William Hurt for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)) (24 March 1986). See more »

Goofs

When Susanna is talking to an employee at her high school about her plans for college and her career, she says she's not going to burn her bra, drop acid, or march on Washington. The bra burning story was published in 1968, not 1967 when Susanna was in high school. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Susanna: [narrating] Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60s. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Make or Break TV: The New Adventures of Beans Baxter (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' Back to Me
Written by Marty Balin
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Quite Likeable!
24 April 2002 | by (New Delhi, India) – See all my reviews

In more ways than one, 'Girl Interrupted' is very similar to 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest'. To begin with both the films are set in mental institutions and chronicle life as it unfolds amidst those bland, white walls. Characters in both the film are acutely lifelike. But owing perhaps to it being a true story, 'Girl Interrupted' has characters that are much easier to identify with than McMurphy's brigade. Set in the 60's, the film is an account of the times spent in the Mental Institution by an eighteen year girl, Susanna Kaysen, a character portrayed with astonishing brilliance by the versatile Winona Ryder.

Susanna is a victim of neurosis, great expectations, confusion, an uncertain future and the sundry other problems an average teenager's life are pounded with. For all her brilliance, Susanna has the undeniable gift of the cynic and the pessimist, who still hasn't made up her mind about life's meaning and is upset about it. She has the nagging feeling that her character is incomplete and gets caught in the depressing vortex of tendencies that earn her the title of, what we're later told, a border line personality. An almost successful but unintentional suicide attempt lands her in the footsteps of Claymoore, a mental instituition. In the confined borders of the instituition, Susanna is surprised to discover how well she identifies with the pain and flaws of fellow inmates. Here, the atmosphere is sans any prejudice or cliches. Here, everyone is a victim one way or the other. Far from the deplorable world outside the instituition, susanna feels that she's finally home. And it is this atmosphere that slowly gives way to the realisation of her actual needs, her character and her purpose.

In the first half of the film, the director employs an interesting technique of fusing two different scenes and establishing a coherence that not only takes the story forward but at the same time tells us what is already past. Apart from Susanna and maybe Lisa, few characters are generously sketched. This, although, doesn't allow the loosening of the plot's grip on you. Furthermore, the institution is projected in a more agreeable light and the resultant sympathy for the characters ( unlike 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest') does not coincide with an abhorrence towards the angle of treatment. The movie does lead the viewer to understand the plight of the inmates, but not with the object of establishing the reasons that led to their condition. Rather it concentrates on the way these girls face their fate, day in and day out. It also highlights the way the girls identify with each others problems, hopes and desires in a fashion that alternates between being poignant and amusing.

Perhaps the most distinct factor about the movie is the exemplary performances put up by a cast that mostly comprises of females. I haven't seen a film that could hold its own without a single male lead, as good as this movie does. Winona Ryder is very convincing as Susanna. Angelina Jolie delivers so well that I am having a hard time getting over the fact that she agreed to Lara Croft. Whoopi Goldberg is good but her role is regrettably restricted. Constrained performances by all the actresses make this film worthy of being watched. It is funny, sad, mischievous and optimistic all at the same time.

Watch it if you can for it is very unlikely that you would get disappointed. Like I said it is quite likeable!


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