I want to give Harvey star Jimmy Stewart a hug (not actually, though then I could cross “hug a zombie” off of my bucket list). I watched Harvey this week after accepting that Safe wasn’t going to happen, and he is the best. My DVD had an interview with him as an introduction to the movie, and his insights into how people deal with his character, Elwood P. Dowd, and his imaginary friend Harvey, were delightful. Between this and It’s a Wonderful Life, his contributions to reducing the stigma around mental health conditions should get him a prize (on top of the Oscar nomination he got for both roles). On top of that, Harvey is a wonderful movie.
Entries Tagged as 'movies'
I know I was supposed to review Safe, the Todd Haynes-Julianne Moore movie about hypochondria and allergies, but due to a number of unforeseen circumstances (mostly of my own making), I wasn’t able to get a copy of it. Instead, I did what I always do when things aren’t going my way; I went to the movies. At the suggestion of a colleague, I saw Iron Man 3. It turned out to be a great movie on a lot of levels, especially in its discussion of mental health.
The Three Faces of Eve, made in 1958, is one of the earliest films to deal with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Despite being tied to its time, the movie handles the illness with intelligence and sympathy. In a time when movies were censored for content, how did this movie get made?
After hearing about it since last summer, I finally got a chance to see Silver Linings Playbook. The movie has been on a tear since its release, winning The American Film institute Best Picture of the Year, The Toronto Film Festival People Choice Award, and the Independent Spirit Award Best Picture of the Year. In addition, it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Producer’s Guild. Stars Jennifer Laurence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver all racked up numerous nominations for their work. But was it actually any good? Was the mental health piece of the movie an honest portrayal of people with bipolar disorder?
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a sweet little movie that manages to do something almost unheard of in movies about mental health, especially those in mental hospitals. It treats all of its characters, the patients, the doctors and the love interests, as real people. Heck, it’s even better at character creation than most movies not about people with mental illnesses.
The movie is about a teenager named Craig Gilner. Stressed out from the pressures of school, an application for a prestigious summer program and his friends, he dreams about committing suicide. Concerned, he checks himself into the psychiatric ward of the local hospital, where he is housed with the adults. He meets Bobby, an older man with depression, and the two become friends. He learns about himself through his week on the ward, and about all of the other patients. He even begins to date another teenaged patient named Noelle. By the end of the week, Craig has learned about himself and leaves the ward with a more positive outlook on life.