Review: ‘Elizabeth Blue’ is Gold!

Elizabeth Blue

Theatrical Release: September 22, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Recently released from a psychiatric hospital, Elizabeth (Anna Schafer) returns to her Los Angeles apartment where she lives with her fiancé, Grant (Ryan Vincent). With the guidance of her new psychiatrist, Dr. Bowman (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and the unfaltering support of Grant, Elizabeth works at regaining control of her mental stability and her life as she begins to plan their wedding. Struggling to navigate daily voices, hallucinations, anxiety, failing medications and her judgmental, unsupportive mother, Carol (Kathleen Quinlan), Elizabeth fears that Grant will leave her as she clings to hope that love will truly conquer all – even mental illness.

Wow… Give Elizabeth Blue all the awards. For Vincent Sabella’s first film, he absolutely nailed it! Mental illness is no joke and Elizabeth Blue shows you that. This is an intimate look into struggling with a mental illness like never seen before. We always see/hear stories about people not taking their medications because they “feel fine and healthy” and this brings us face to face with that struggle through the eyes of Elizabeth. It was very powerful and left us moved by the performances. Anna Schafer as Elizabeth was excellent! She had us completely caught up in her story and her struggle with schizophrenia and OCD. This movie will definitely put her on the map. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kathleen Quinlan were also great in their selective roles! Everyone knows someone who is, or is themselves, affected by mental illness so this movie will impact everyone in a different way. There are a few scenes we felt could have been cleaned up a bit because they were dragging on, but all in all, that is just nit picking for complaints. It is a must see for everyone. Our jaws are still on the ground! Elizabeth Blue is GOLD!

*Anyone can experience mental health problems. Friends and family can make all the difference in a person’s recovery process. If a friend or family member is showing signs of a mental health problem or reaching out to you for help, offer support.*

Reel ROB Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!

Review: ‘GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM’ documentary is a tragic look at mental illness.

In January 2008, the body of a homeless woman is found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse. Beside the body, lies a diary that documents the last months of her life. The woman turns out to be Linda Bishop, a well-educated mother and sister who suffered from bipolar disorder with psychosis. What starts as a whodunnit quickly evolves into a poignant exploration of sanity and systemic failure within the mental health system to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

This insightful doc is has a gorgeous structure. Including sit-down interviews with local police, Linda’s family, and narrated passages from Linda’s diary entries, the impact of God Knows is massive. It’s heart-wrenching as you slowly realize that this poor woman’s death could have easily been prevented. The system failed her in an atrocious way. As Bishop descends into starvation and deeper mental state, we already know the writing on the wall, but that does not make the outcome any less shocking. While difficult to watch on many levels, it’s an important and timely film in many ways in our national discussion of how we treat mental illness as a nation. I highly recommend you catch God Knows Where I Am this Friday, March 31st. Check out the trailer below for a peek into this sad true story.

GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM (Trailer) from Brian Ariotti on Vimeo.

Premiers March 31st at Lincoln Plaza NYC Followed by National Roll-Out 

Directed by Todd Wider and Jedd Wider (Producers of Emmy Award-Winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Academy Award-Nominated Kings Point)

RT: 97 Minutes

http://godknowswhereiam.com/

https://www.facebook.com/godknowswhereiamfilm

https://twitter.com/god_knows_where

Review: ‘NASTY BABY’ is a labor of love.

PRESENTS

NASTY BABY posterAs someone who tried to get pregnant for 8 months, I understand the frustration reading “Not Pregnant” on the test screen each month and the angst that follows. For some women, 8 months is nothing. I understand that, but at 34, time was of the essence. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful and supportive husband, and now at 35, we’re expecting a baby boy in January (or December, the pool is growing). What happens when you’re unattached and reaching an age where it might be now or never? Who do you turn to if you want to build a family? A sperm bank? Or perhaps, you approach someone you love and ask for the ultimate favor. Building a family is not the easiest thing in the world. In NASTY BABY, Kristen Wiig walks through hell and back for the lives of the ones she loves.Nasty Baby 2 Director/screenewriter Sebastián Silva brings this heartfelt and bizarre tale to the screen, also starring as Kristen’s best friend in the film, Freddy. Freddy and Mo are partners. When Freddy’s sperm count comes back low, Polly (Wiig) approaches Mo to step in as potential daddy alternative. The decision is not one anyone takes lightly. Opinions fly at the three friends left and right as the clock winds down the drama heightens. The film is really about a relationship between three people. People who are accessible emotionally and completely terrified to face the realities of their choices. Nasty Baby 1The script takes an unexpected turn near the end, really throwing the viewer for a loop. This didn’t deter me from loving it. In fact, for me, it got me even more involved with these people. I thought, “What would I have done?!” Wiig, once again, bouncing from mainstream comedy to brilliant indie, is flawless. I encourage you to seek out her work in films like The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Welcome To Me, and The Skeleton Twins. Wiig’s range will blow you away. Silva as Freddy and Tunde Adebimpe as Mo might as well be a real couple living in NYC. The performances are entirely organic and totally believable. We know these people. Other notable and important performances come from Reg. E Cathey and Mark Margolis. Nasty Baby tackles issues like mental illness, homophobia, crossing personal boundaries, and what it is that makes a family. With handheld camera work making you feel like a fly on the wall, Nasty Baby is funny, charming, chilling and wonderful. 

NASTY BABY is available on VOD today!! Check it out.
Synopsis:
An award-winning festival favorite by Sebastián Silva (“The Maid”),
NASTY BABY centers on Freddy (Silva), a Brooklyn-based artist who, with his boyfriend, Mo (Tunde Adebimpe), and their best friend, Polly (Kristen Wiig), is trying to have a baby.  As this trio deals with the complications of conception and creating the “new normal” family, their bliss is clouded by a series of confrontations with an annoying neighbor who just might be a madman.

 

Liz’s Review: ‘WELCOME TO ME’ takes on mental illness with heart and humor.

welcome to  me poster
Mental illness is a touchy subject. Certainly putting a pretty face to it makes us more comfortable to talk about it. Films like Gabriel and Silver Linings Playbook have since tackled these issues, on two very opposite ends of the spectrum. A new film starring Kristen Wiig, Welcome to Me, looks at both sides of  something that can be hard to discuss. The story revolves around a young woman with borderline personality disorder who wins 86 million dollars in the lottery. Obsessed with being the next Oprah, Alice approaches a local TV station and pays a great sum of money for them create a talk show just for her, about her, and only, her. Believing that her new found wealth can solve anything in her recently unmedicated surroundings, Alice’s behavior spins out of control as she becomes an internet sensation. The show becomes an inappropriate arena for her to air all the emotional hurt in her head. The station is owned by two very different brothers, Rich and Gabe. The first is desperate for the checks to keep rolling in from Alice, while the other, has his own issues and a thing for his new host. Can Alice pull her life together in time to save any of the relationships in her life?

Welcome to Me Wes Bentley and James MarsdenThis film is filled with a crazy talented cast. James Marsden plays the smarmier of the two brothers, while Wes Bentley is the odder, more lovable one. Marsden is a real dick, while Bentley is sensitive and interesting. The two are totally believable as siblings. Alan Tudyk, who I can never get enough of, is Alice’s gay ex-husband and charming and adorable as always. Joan Cusak, funny lady extraordinaire, plays Welcome To Me’s director so  think Gelman à la Live with Kelly and Michael. Her sincerity is what makes her so effortlessly hilarious. Jennifer Jason Leigh is the more realistic producer who spends most of her time face palming and attempting to interject reason to this insane scenario. Linda Cardellini is Gina, Alice’s best friend since middle school. Cardellini is loving, quiet, and the ultimate caretaker. Tim Robbins plays Alice’s therapist. He puts his foot down when it comes to Alice pushing boundaries, and I would hire him as my real life Dr. in a heartbeat… is that weird?Welcome to me, Alan Tudyk, Linda CardeliniBut let’s get to our leading lady, Kristen Wiig. Famous for her SNL characters like “The Target Lady”, “Penelope”, “Judy Grimes” (Just Kidding Lady), “Babe” (One-of-Two A-Holes), and “Junice Merill” (Slightly-Off Laurwence Welk Performer) but since her departure we’ve seen her take on some truly challenging indie roles. She was a delight in Hateship Loveship, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and The Skeleton Twins. She, of course, has impeccable comic timing, but is exceptionally gifted in the dramatic. Also, on aside note, she is a pretty woman, no doubt, but there is something altogether gorgeous about her in Welcome To Me. The character of Alice Klieg is incredibly damaged, but if I’m being honest, she is just acting in the ways we all wish we could if they were socially acceptable. This is yet another performance in a long line of impressive ones for Kristen. For the love of all that is holy, go see her in this!Welcome to Me Kristen Wiig

Synopsis: A woman with borderline personality disorder (Kristen Wiig) wins the Mega-
Millions and—much to the dismay of her parents, therapist, gay ex-husband and local TV station—uses the winnings to fund her lifelong dream of becoming the next Oprah.

Starring:

Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusak, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Thomas Mann, James Marsden, Tim Robbins, Alan Tudyk

Written by Eliot Laurence

Directed by Shira Piven

WELCOME TO ME comes to theaters May 1st.

Liz’s Review: I hear ‘THE VOICES’ , and I like it

1214378Poster_r2.pdfAs a child I watched Tom & Jerry cartoons. Cat chases mouse, and on rare occasions, Tom would be presented with a small angel on one should and a small devil on the other, telling him to do things. In Marjane Satrapi‘s new horror comedy, THE VOICES, a man life is being controlled by good and evil. Though it’s not an angel and a devil but ironically, a cat and a dog.

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Liz’s Review: ‘Rocks In My Pockets’ – The extraordinary weight of sadness and madness.

rocks in my pockets poster

Mental illness is a hot button issue these days. We pretend to address it but if we’re being honest,  we continue to sweep it under the rug. In a brand new film by writer/director Signe Baumane, we follow the true story of her familial heritage, specifically with undiagnosed bouts of severe depression. Read More →