October 26th, 2012

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Smashed

Mmm happy Friday, ya'll! I opted to spend mine at the movies. Big surprise. I'm not entirely sure what kept on drawing me to Smashed. I'd heard some _really_ good buzz for it. The storyline was intriguing, but not so much of the I-hafta-\m/-see-this-variety: a couple whose relationship is based on alcohol is tested when the wife decides to go sober. Much of the buzz centers around our leading lady, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, in a role that's expecting to get her some awards attention. As the movie started playing, I remembered a reason that my subconscious must have been pushing me towards this movie for: Megan Mullally.

Btw, as I write this, I've also got a logmein session to my Mom's PC trying to update her antivirus. That machine needs to be put out of its misery. It's so painfully slow, and I mean that, I'm actually feeling pain from the frustration. Ugh.

Back to Smashed, oh my God, this movie was incredible. The plot was incredibly simple, but it was so compelling. And yes, Ms Winstead is wholly responsible for that. More on that in a minute. I think the marketing was all wrong. It wasn't about the relationship between her and Aaron Paul. It was about her and her journey of sobriety. The marriage was just one of several pieces of her life that got tested in the process.

Now a word on Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She's someone who's popped up unexpectedly in a variety of movies. For me, it was Death Proof that took her from that-chick-in-Sky-High to Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She's also got Scott Pilgrim, Live Free or Die Hard, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and Final Destination 3 under her belt. In other words, a lot of campy, not too serious fun films. Nothing like Smashed. Her Kate was the most raw and real that we've ever seen her, and it was just breathtaking. In the 90 minutes she carries this film, we see so many sides of her: fun and happy drunk, hopelessly hungover, desperately trying to reclaim her life, hitting rock bottom, everything. And each stage is shown with such conviction, you do end up caring for her character and wanting to see her pull herself thru this mess.

She's got a phenomenal supporting cast backing her up. Aaron Paul is her husband. The two have such connection and chemistry, even when he's at his worst, you can see how he still cares about her. Adding a bit of a bright spot to the film was Octavia Spencer as Kate's AA sponsor. More of the sass and compassion we know and love her for, but more subdued to aptly fit the tone of this film. In a totally un-Karen Walker like turn, Megan Mullally plays the compassionate yet tough principal at the school where Kate works. Not a side of her I'm used to seeing, but she does it well. But for me the strongest support was Mullally's IRL hubby Nick Offerman. I'm only vaguely familiar with his work, but I've always known him as a large and loud character actor. Total opposite from here. His Dave was Kate's first ally in her sobriety and there was just this sweet sincerity to him. I loved all of his scenes, even when they got awkward. Heads up for those of you who dislike the word "moist", you'll dislike it even more after this film.

Yeah so just brilliant and affecting film. I was holding my breath thru some scenes, and I felt really invested in it. But then after the movie I had a wicked jones for hard cider and ended up stopping at the liquor store on the way home. That wasn't even Kate's poison of choice. I'm trying not to think about what that says about me, but it couldnt possibly be good

Smashed - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/