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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SMASHED A Portrait of Addiction Circa 2012 - Is It Today's Version Of The Days of Wine and Roses?

50 years ago at the movies The Days of Wine and Roses

50 years ago an Academy Award winning film The Days of Wine and Roses debuted. It is a powerful film that most accurately tells the story of a couple whose lives spiral downhill with alcoholism and their attempts to deal with their alcoholism. It was critically acclaimed for the realistic portrayals by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. Lemmon was nominated for Best Actor and Remick was nominated for Best Actress. The theme song "The Days of Wine and Roses" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.  Some thirty years later, Jack Lemmon stated in an interview that he really was a recovering alcoholic. Perhaps that is one reason why Mr. Lemmon was so intent on playing the part of Joe Clay and with conviction uttered one of the most famous lines from the movie: "My name is Joe Clay...I'm an alcoholic."

Enjoy The Days of Wine and Roses original trailer

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Smashed, a portrait of addiction, opens this Friday, October 12, 2012

This past January, Smashed premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It won the coveted U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence. Eventually Sony Picture Classics picked up the film and it now will be released nationwide (albeit a limited release) on October 12, 2012.

It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Kate Hannah) and Aaron Paul (Charlie Hannah) and according to IMDB, Smashed is "R" rated and deals with: "A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober."

Critics seem to agree that this film is worth viewing, for example:
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly: "What's new about this affecting, unsensationalized portrait of addiction, recovery, codependence, setbacks, one-day-at-a-time progress, and their effects on relationships, is the low-keyed energy of the storytelling."
  • James Rocchi of The Playlist "But all of the pain and problem-solving here feel human and natural, never forced or contrived. The sober are not heroes; the drunk, not all demons. Ponsoldt, Paul and Winstead make a remarkably effective team for this film's points and purposes, and "Smashed" burns long after it goes down smoothly."
  • Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter: "Smashed by its nature includes the obligatory AA meetings, spills off the wagon and strains with loved ones. But its sharp writing and essential credibility make this small, intimate tale fresh."

View Smashed trailer


If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

The power of movies...

There is no doubt that over the history of film-making many movies have dealt with the subject of addiction, specifically alcoholism. Some people, including an alcoholics' family and friends, have trouble watching these movies, the subject is too close to home. But every once in a while, a powerful film will be just enough to help an addict decide to get help.

If you see Smashed, let us know what you think.

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