SMASHED – Alcohol revisited

Drinking alcohol is normal, socially accepted or even expected. But when it becomes excessive the evaluation quickly shifts to embarrassing, dangerous and frowned upon. But how much is too much? And when is it time to pull the emergency break on drinking? Last year’s Sundance Film Festival showcased a film that deals not only with these questions, but also takes a look at the desperation that arises when a young woman tries to fight against her dangerous addiction. Smashed is a heartfelt, honest and partially painful film, certainly worth watching, which finally found it’s way onto the German silver screen last week.

Read more after the jump….

When young elementary school teacher Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) throws up in front of her class after a drunken night out, she covers her hangover up by telling the kids and her principal she is pregnant. When she reveals the true reason for her misbehaviour to her colleague Dave (Nick Offerman) he reveals to be an anonymous alcoholic and invites her to one of the meeting. First Kate refuses to believe she has a problem and instead goes on another bender with her husband Chris (Aaron Paul). Butt he thought stays with her and when she finds herself trying heroin and waking up in the street after plenty of booze, she decides it is in fact time to clean up her life and try to stay sober for a while.

It’s a tough choice, especially as Kate is pretty much alone with her estimate of the issue. Her husband doesn’t really understand why Kate decided to stop drinking and instead of joining her mission, he keeps getting hammered with friends and can’t even agree to the compromise of not keeping alcohol in the house. Kate’s mother appreciated her daughter’s effort, but still offers Bloody Marys. And so the young woman is left alone in her struggle, that of course alters her views on life, her ambition and plans for the future.

Smashed is a beautifully unagitated film, that slowly tells it’s plot and unfolds the depths of it’s characters psyche. It’s thought provoking and dramatic, unpretentious and mediates a feeling of understanding for Kate’s situation that is quite powerful.

I would say: label precious. Go see it!

Smashed (D:James Ponsoldt, USA 2012)

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