Girl Interrupted
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

This movie, based on a "true" story, is a 90's (00's ?) version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  In this new movie, the Randle Patrick McMurphy-type character, so memorably played by Jack Nicholson, is played by Angelina Jolie. But instead of a sane person pretending to be insane, she is an insane person who wants to stay insane.  And since this was the 90's, Nurse Ratched is replaced by a nurse with a heart of gold (Whoopi Goldberg). However, the central character of the movie, who is the girl interrupted, is Winona Ryder.  She plays a young woman suffering from depression who is institutionalized in a nice mental hospital by her understanding yet perplexed parents.  This new movie doesn't have the rawness of McMurphy and Ratched but Ryder and Jolie do their best to inject some real emotion into the mental ward.  They both do a good job.  Winona Ryder is probably the best actress of her age and has  already shown her range in almost 30 movies.  She is also the executive producer of this movie and has said that she felt this character was very close to her own.  Jolie, if one can look past the big lips, can also act and in this movie she has a part where she can really chew the scenery a la Jack Nicholson.  This movie is set in late 60's and like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest centers on a group of patients, this time female, in a mental hospital.  Goldberg does a nice restrained job here but her character is just too good to be true.  Vanessa Redgrave and Jeffrey Tambor are excellent as the psychiatrists.  All in all, I enjoyed this movie although it was mostly the performances which raise a predictable story to a higher level.  Girl Interrupted does have its gritty moments but it gets just a little too heart warming towards the end.  You might wish for Jack Nicholson to show up and try to strangle someone.