Girl Interrupted

  • Directors: James Mangold
  • Producers: Douglas Wick, Winona Ryder
  • Writers: James Mangold, Lisa Loomer, Anna Hamilton Phelan
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall, Brittany Murphy, Jared Leto, Elisabeth Moss, Travis Fine, Vanessa Redgrave, Whoopi Goldberg

Susanna Kaysen (Ryder), 18 years old in April 1967, “voluntarily” (her parents essentially force her to go there, and she is not free to leave until the staff approves her release) checks herself into the fictitious Claymoore Hospital (based on McLean Hospital, the actual institution featured in the memoir), after an overdose of aspirin and her stay extends for over a year.

She befriends fellow patients Polly “Torch” Clark (Elisabeth Moss), a burn victim; Georgina Tuskin (Clea DuVall), a pathological liar; Daisy Randone (Brittany Murphy), a sexually abused girl with an eating disorder and who cuts herself; Janet Webber (Angela Bettis), an anorexic; Cynthia Crowley (Jillian Armenante), whose only disorder seems to be a proclivity to dress like men and is there because her parents don’t want to see her; and others, and forms a small troupe of troubled women in her ward. Susanna is enchanted in particular by Lisa Rowe (Angelina Jolie), who has been diagnosed as a sociopath (as in the book, it is left to interpretation whether she actually is one). Lisa is a force to be reckoned with: she is magnetic, rebellious, won’t take her medication and verbally abuses the other patients. Lisa befriends Susanna and together they start causing trouble. Lisa encourages Susanna to stop taking her medications and/or trade them with others, and generally resist the influences of therapy (referred to by the patients as “ther-rape-me”).

At the end of the film, Susanna states that by the 1970s, most of her friends were released and some she saw and some never again. But there wasn’t a day “her heart doesn’t find them.”


  • Directors: Rodrigo Garcia
  • Producers: Joseph Drake
  • Writers: Ronnie Christensen
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Clea DuVall

Psychotherapist Claire Summers (Hathaway) is called upon to treat a group of five survivors of a recent plane crash. One of the survivors, Eric (Wilson), exhibits symptoms that suggest he is disguising his true feelings about the crash by making major life changes. As Claire and Eric grow closer, Claire’s patients begin to disappear. She comes to believe that the airline is targeting them to prevent fears about a mechanical failure from spreading. Claire visits her estranged sister after Eric suggests that she make peace with her.

There, she is greeted by an official from the airline who has been advising her not to investigate the crash. He reveals that all of the plane’s passengers died in the crash. As proof, he leaves behind a suitcase that contains a ledger of passengers’ names. Claire discovers that she too was on the ill-fated flight, and remembers everything that happened. Claire goes to the docks to meet Eric on his boat.

She realizes that everyone she came into contact with over the last few weeks was actually dead; “ghosts” of friends and family who were trying to make her realize that she, and the other passengers, had died. As the movie ends, Claire’s sister, Emma, and her husband are let into her now-abandoned apartment by the landlord, where she discovers a note Claire was planning to send to make peace with her.