Girl, Interrupted: The good, the bad and the very,very sad


This 1999 drama depicts the lives of young women in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960’s and unsurprisingly, packs quite a punch. Starring Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie and Oscar-nominated Winona Ryder, this adaptation of a young woman's memoirs of her time as a mentally unwell patient is a story that will stay with you long after you've seen it.

The film is so full of ups and downs, we think it’s only right to categorise them accordingly. We did cheat however, and focused more on the good bits, because frankly, Girl, Interrupted can be tough viewing and hey, it’s nice to look on the bright side!

The Good

1) Remember when the patients, in a show of solidarity for their new friend Susanna, stood up for her against the angry wife of the teacher with whom Susanna had had an affair?

Looking almost paralysed with horror in the local ice cream parlour, Susanna definitely needed some support at that moment and the girls of Claymore Hospital knew exactly how to show it. Woof.

2) Watching Susanna and Lisa attempt to comfort the distraught Polly who had been placed in solitary confinement was one of the most tender moments in the whole movie thus far.

 A hesitant Susanna cautiously plucked at her guitar strings before launching into 'Downtown' accompanied by an enthusiastic Lisa and were both overjoyed as they heard Polly’s wails soften with each note.

3) If you thought you knew friendship and love after seeing Lisa and Susanna’s attempts to placate Polly, you hadn’t seen anything yet.

Watching Susanna, on her final day in the hospital, tenderly paint Lisa’s fingernails as she lay strapped to a hospital bed was by far the most moving scene of the whole film.

The Bad

1) Watching Susanna attempt to belittle Nurse Valerie while Valerie supervised the patient’s bathing time was difficult to swallow. Knowing that Valerie was rooting for the young woman meant we felt the harsh remarks were totally unfair.

Although maybe we shouldn’t have worried, because Valerie dismissed Susanna’s remarks with little more than a bemused smile and a quick dose of reality. Valerie’s a champ.

2) When the girls learn the content of Susanna’s diaries which reveal her innermost thoughts on her fellow patients, you can almost feel their confusion and hurt. 

Susanna is horrified to discover Lisa betraying her so openly, while Georgina's and Polly's distress is etched across their anguished faces.

And the very, very sad….

It’s very difficult to hear Skeeter Davis’s rendition of ‘The End of the World’ without thinking of Susanna discovering poor Daisy upstairs in the home she was so proud of, isn’t it?

The scene was tense with horror as we seemed to climb every step of the stairs with Susanna and watched the needle of the record player lift up and down, before Susanna dropped to the floor at the enormity of what she found.

Quick, don't focus on this last point too much, go back and read the good section again!