Sunday, November 18, 2012


In 1962, Blake Edwards made a film called Days of Wine and Roses starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. It was a departure for Edwards and Lemmon since both were mainly recognized for comedy. It was also one of the first films to depict alcoholism in an ugly light.

Fast forward fifty years later to 2012. The stars and director of Days of Wine and Roses have passed on, but the impact the film left sure hasn't. In fact, many elements in James Ponsoldt's Smashed can be reminiscent of Edwards' film. After all, both films depict a marriage united by alcohol.

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a pretty good life, much like Lemmon's Joe Clay. Steady job, happily married...all is right in the world. Her only problem is her drinking, which she's been doing for as long as she can remember. Then everything starts to fall apart in her life, making her reconsider her ways.

Winstead provides an interesting portrait of an alcoholic. She is capable of maintaining a steady life when sober. That goes out the window when she's been drinking. (One drunken meltdown in particular proves that.) And the supporting cast of Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Octavia Spencer is also great, but this film belongs to Winstead.

The main complaint I have with Smashed is that the tone doesn't match the theme. To me, a film revolving around an alcoholic should be a little dark. But the story and the acting are great, so I suppose I could let it pass. Personally, I hope Winstead gets some recognition out of this.

My Rating: ****

1 comment:

  1. I really want to see this, for Paul and for Winstead. Great review!


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