Smashed (film)

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Smashed
Smashed (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames Ponsoldt
Produced byJennifer Cochis
Jonathan Schwartz
Andrea Sperling
Written byJames Ponsoldt
Susan Burke
StarringMary Elizabeth Winstead
Aaron Paul
Octavia Spencer
Nick Offerman
Megan Mullally
Music byEric D. Johnson
Andy Cabic
CinematographyTobias Datum
Editing bySuzanne Spangler
StudioSuper Crispy Entertainment
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • January 22, 2012 (2012-01-22) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12) (United States)
Running time81 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$500,000[2]
Box office$379,016[3]
 
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Smashed
Smashed (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames Ponsoldt
Produced byJennifer Cochis
Jonathan Schwartz
Andrea Sperling
Written byJames Ponsoldt
Susan Burke
StarringMary Elizabeth Winstead
Aaron Paul
Octavia Spencer
Nick Offerman
Megan Mullally
Music byEric D. Johnson
Andy Cabic
CinematographyTobias Datum
Editing bySuzanne Spangler
StudioSuper Crispy Entertainment
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • January 22, 2012 (2012-01-22) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12) (United States)
Running time81 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$500,000[2]
Box office$379,016[3]

Smashed is a 2012 American drama film directed by James Ponsoldt, written by Ponsoldt and Susan Burke, and starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul.[4] The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2012 and won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing.[5] On February 5, the film was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics[6] and was released on October 12, 2012.[7]

Plot[edit]

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a secretive alcoholic elementary school teacher, vomits in front of her class. She decides to feign being pregnant to her class and the school principal Mrs. Barnes (Megan Mullally) to save her job. She talks to her co-worker Dave (Nick Offerman), where he reveals to her that he knows she’s been drinking. Kate lets Dave swear not to tell anyone about it.

Later that night, she attends a party along with her husband Charlie (Aaron Paul) and his brother Owen (Kyle Gallner) and she drinks heavily during the night. As she is preparing to leave, she runs into another seemingly alcoholic woman and she asks Kate to give her a ride. Instead of driving her home, Kate smokes crack along with the woman and the two get high together. Kate wakes up the next morning only to find out the woman had left. She recovers her car and drives home, only for Charlie to acknowledge that both of them are alcoholics. The couple gets intoxicated at night and they have sex shortly before Charlie would pass out and rebuffs Kate. She heads out alone with a bike to buy wine but she is turned down by the cashier. She pees on the floor because the bathroom door is locked and runs away from the store, stealing a bottle of wine. She wakes up and realizes she has passed out again.

She goes to work and talks to Mrs. Barnes and Dave who, is a recovering alcoholic, invites her to an AA meeting. There, Kate befriends a recovering alcoholic Jenny (Octavia Spencer), who has chosen a love of food and cooking over alcohol. Over the course of her stint in the program, Kate ultimately decides to stay sober and change her life. While Dave drives Kate home, he confesses to her how he likes her but inadvertently makes an offensive comment which leaves her upset. Kate and Charlie visit Kate’s estranged alcoholic mom, Rochelle (Mary Kay Place) and Kate tells her about her AA meetings. At first, Rochelle seems skeptical, Kate's father left them after getting sober and now lives in another state with his "shiny new family".

Kate is surprised the next day when she is thrown a baby shower by her colleagues, although she wants to admit the truth about her not being pregnant. Later, she reconciles with Dave whom she left resentful over what he had said to her. At home, Kate and Charlie argue when Charlie inadvertently tells Owen and his friend about Kate smoking crack despite her urges to change. She then rebuffs Charlie to have sex with him that night. At school, Kate is soon questioned by one of her curious students as to why she’s not getting any fatter. Kate feigns a miscarriage and the whole class accuses her of killing her baby, for which she reprimands them.

At home, the couple starts arguing when Charlie tells Kate to just tell the truth and lose her job, which is what Kate wants for the better. Kate lashes back at Charlie and tells him that she would never depend on Charlie’s parents' money and that she has struggled with it her whole life. Kate ultimately decides to tell Mrs. Barnes the truth. She is clearly disappointed in Kate and immediately fires her. Kate drives alone to a bar and relapses. She is driven home by Jenny and Dave and then starts arguing with Charlie once he finally realises she has a problem with alcohol. Kate chastises Charlie about not helping her when she was trying to get sober and getting her life back on track. The couple’s relationship is compromised.

The next scene shows Kate speaking about herself in an AA meeting, celebrating her one year of sobriety. Meanwhile, Charlie seeks out Kate and is apprehended by a cop whilst riding a bicycle drunk. Kate later visits Charlie and they play a game. Kate tells him how she’s still worried about him and Charlie asks her if she would move back in with him if he begins going to meetings. Kate states that she can’t help him with it and that he must do it for himself. Later, Charlie asks Kate if she can help him redeem himself. The film ends with the question unanswered.

Cast[edit]

Production and release[edit]

On September 21, 2011, Super Crispy Entertainment announced the casting of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as the leads in "dramatic comedy" Smashed, with Octavia Spencer and Nick Offerman co-starring. James Ponsoldt directed from a screenplay he wrote with Susan Burke.[4]

Shooting completed on October 22, and Smashed entered the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on November 30.[8]

On July 25, 2012, Variety reported that Smashed was playing at the Deauville American Film Festival, which ran from August 31 - September 9.[9] Smashed was also screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[10]

The film was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics on February 5, and released on October 12, 2012.[7][11][12]

Reception[edit]

As of December 21, 2012, the film received generally positive reviews by critics, earning a "Certified Fresh" 84% score on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 100 reviews with an average score of 6.9/10.[13] On review aggregator Metacritic, the film has also received an equally positive score of 71, based on 32 reviews.[14]

Winstead has received critical acclaim for her role. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of four, saying that "This is a serious movie about drinking but not a depressing one.", and[clarification needed]. He praised Winstead's performance in the film, saying that "Mary Elizabeth Winstead is sort of wonderful in this movie, worn and warm. She doesn't play a victim. She has that courage an alcoholic requires to persist in the punishment of getting drunk day after day."[15]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack listing was released on Film Music Reporter on September 21, 2012. The soundtrack, released by Lakeshore Records, was released digitally on October 9, 2012.[16] The soundtrack features a mix of the film's original score composed by Andy Cabic and Eric D. Johnson as well as music from other artists heard throughout various portions of the film.

  1. "Shower and a Beer" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  2. "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" – Richard and Linda Thompson
  3. "Wake Up and Run" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  4. "Someone2Dance" – Bart Davenport
  5. "Highland Park Bike Ride" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  6. "Por Ti" – Omero Guerrero
  7. "Dreams-Come-True-Girl" – Cass McCombs
  8. "Lake Arrowhead" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  9. "When the Shelter Came" – Dark Meat
  10. "Santa’s Village" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  11. "Planet of Women" – Sonny & The Sunsets
  12. "One More Game of Croquet" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  13. "Our Anniversary" – Smog

References[edit]

External links[edit]