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DVD review: “Smashed” proves truth is harder than fiction

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Able to amicably display the heartbreak of both the addicted and addict affected without all the self-indulgent subterfuge, “Smashed” brings an authentic feel to the dragged-through-the-mud process of getting clean.

Able to amicably display the heartbreak of both the addicted and addict affected without all the self-indulgent subterfuge, “Smashed” brings an authentic feel to the dragged-through-the-mud process of getting clean. And like with all recovery films there is a fair amount of predictable content, as the road ahead twists and turns through the highs and lows of film frequented territory, Winstead and Paul elevate writer/director James Ponsoldt and writer Susan Burke’s already intriguing script with intense compassion and cutting clarity. The film is littered with strong performances and big names, most notably last year’s Best Actress winner Octavia Spencer, Mary Kay Place, Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman, both of whom share battle time on the current hit “Parks and Recreation.” “Smashed” focuses well on addiction, but doesn’t pour it out in an easily solvable sip, instead mulling over the steps like so much cheap wine and forcing you to take an uncomfortably big taste. So while the story structure remains the same, the characters remain thankfully unpolished, instilling a warts-and-all approach to an exercise that’s usually been laced with spice. A respectable grouping of extras accompanies the film, with a wonderfully deep commentary by Ponsoldt and Winstead, a good if not standard making-of featurette, a deleted scene that could have easily been left in the final film and a Q&A expose from the Toronto Film Festival. So with stunning performances full of friction and a dogged look at utter addiction, “Smashed” deftly proves that sometimes truth is much harder than fiction.

Studio Synopsis: Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and drinking…especially the drinking. When Kate’s drinking leads her to dangerous places and her job as a school teacher is put into jeopardy, she decides to join AA and get sober. With the help of her new friend and sponsor Jenny (Octavia Spencer), and the vice principal at her school, the awkward, but well intentioned, Mr. Davies (Nick Offerman), Kate takes steps toward improving her health and life. Sobriety isn’t as easy as Kate had anticipated. Her new lifestyle brings to the surface a troubling relationship with her mother, facing the lies she’s told her employer (Megan Mullaly) and calls into question whether or not her relationship with Charlie is built on love or just a boozy diversion from adulthood.

dvd smashed geek 300x430 DVD review: Smashed proves truth is harder than fiction Studio: Sony
Running Time: 81 minutes
Rating: R
Number of Disks: 1

Special Features:
- Commentary with Director James Ponsoldt & Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead
- Making of Featurette
- Toronto Film Festival Red Carpet and Q&A
- Deleted Scenes: Kids Ask Kate about Baby Gender
Additional Resources:
Central Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead | Aaron Paul | Octavia Spencer | Nick Offerman | Megan Mullally | Mary Kay Place
Director: James Ponsoldt
Central Writers: Susan Burke | James Ponsoldt
Theatrical Release: January 22, 2012 (Sundance Film Festival)
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: March 12, 2013
Genre: Comedy | Drama
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE

Images: Sony Pictures Classics

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