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Smashed

Smashed

Released 21st December 2012
Director James Ponsoldt
Starring


Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Octavia Spencer
Writer(s) Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt
Producer(s)

Jennifer Cochis, Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling
Origin United States
Running Time 81 minutes
Genre Comedy, drama
Rating TBC
73

Alcoholic indie drama.

In what seems a rare moment of honesty Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate explains that what once was embarrassing or funny has now become scary, the blackouts, bedwetting and addled incontinent bladder aren't just occasional occurrences and her boozy lifestyle increasingly isn't even adding up in alcoholic terms to 'high functioning'.

The initial realisation hits when Kate drunkenly relents to drop a lone woman home in her car and instead inadvisably ends up smoking crack as her passenger whispers sotto voce “You're so smart, a really wise girl”. A primary school teacher she sips from a hip flask in her car before work and energetically teaches in the early morning until one day she throws up sparking a lie that gradually grows ever out of control.

Kate's decision to abstain from alcohol, climbing on the proverbial wagon and joining AA doesn't come easily and isn't helped by her husband Charlie's equally inebriated actions, giving rise to a question; what happens in a couple when one alcoholic stops drinking and another doesn't? No longer confident to live a life unexamined, Kate questions if their romance blearily based itself through booze tinted spectacles.

Anyone momentarily mistaking Smashed for a quirky indie tale, slight on substance but heavy on montage will be pleasantly surprised when the calculatedly cool soundtrack slips away into something more substantial. Immediately reminiscent of 1962's Jack Lemmon Days of Wine and Roses, with some great performances from Megan Mullaly (Will and Grace), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Mary Elizabeth Winstead steals the show in Smashed, an indie drama which takes a turn for the better when its protagonist takes a turn for the worst.

- Cormac O’Brien