A Disturbance Upstairs
51. Eamonn Owens
Francie's reminiscence of his demented childhood sets the melancholy tone for "The Butcher Boy." As a kid, his hobbies were reading comic books, torturing the mama's boy next door, & feeling responsible for his self-destructive mother's happiness.
When it becomes clear to him that he has failed, and the tragedy is followed by paranoid schizophrenia, the loss of his family, institutionalization, and molestation, Francie takes remorseless and misguided revenge against his snobby neighbor, who openly degraded his family in the past.
His story is the depiction of a life ruined, & an inside view of the young people we read in the papers every day.
52. Emile Berling
The wolf, the wolf, the wolf...
What is the significance of the wolf?
Paul, a only moderately disturbed member among demented family dynamics, believes that people are trying to get into his brain. This belief is the presumable reason he pulls a knife on his mom, before promptly being sent to a hospital.
A questionable decision considering Paul's minimal mental health and the appalling function of his extended relatives, he is taken from the hospital & brought to a family Christmas party.
His problems nearly pale in comparison to a sick mom, adultery, domestic abuse, and sickeningly vindictive behavior all over the map. That, & he is visited by a wolf.
The feeling of isolation & camera angles imply it is a hallucination, yet the creature is apparently seen by his younger cousins, who talk cheerfully about the 'wolf in the basement.' I'm going to watch this movie again (the beginning was completely lost to me,) but I'd still appreciate ideas on the meaning.
A CHRISTMAS TALE
73. Giovanni Ribisi
Poor Buddy, an erratic head job you can't help but like, has some Daddy issues. Who could blame him, when his dad spent Buddy's childhood being a 'hands-on' parent in the very worst sense, while his mom looked the other way and proclaimed complete innocence for how her son turned out psychologically?
He is counseled by the well-intentioned town psychic, and serves as a kind of twisted protector to her sons (no, he doesn't molest them,) smashing the town bully's car with a crow bar. He has breakdowns, talks incoherently about imaginary shapes, and struggles with his repressed memories that cause him to think about his daddy in a very taboo way.
What happens next? A plot involving the murder of a Katie Holmes character and vision-fueled investigation gets in the way, but the nearly more interesting but supremely uncomfortable Buddy sub-plot lingers, and Buddy, feeling helpless without the psychic's help, confronts his now-powerless dad with a match and a vat of gasoline.
5.44. Mike White
Buck O' Brien-
Buck is an individual with the frighteningly potent ability of making skin crawl- worse yet, he doesn't seem to know how twisted his behavior is. 'Chuck,' his old childhood friend, *apparently* initiated some touchy-feely experimentation.
Now 'Charlie,' he has grown up and found a easy-going fiance, but Buck cannot forget the games (he describes them in detail I will not go into unless you dare to rent this film.) He is obviously homosexual, but not the 'gay and okay' poster boy our politically correct age requires.
Buck's pastimes include sucking lollipops, listening to children's tunes from hell, and fondling old friends. *Interesting* character, yes... but I was left wanting. Too many scene comprised of inducing squirms, and absolutely no revelation to explain 'what f**ked Buck up?'
Oh yeah, and if I hear that kiddie song this guy listened to on repeat, I will bang my head against the nearest wall until... I don't know, it stops, maybe? I'd also like to suggest that heterosexual men stay fifty miles away from him, at least.
CHUCK & BUCK
4.85. Leo Bill
What is there to be said of James, pseudo-adult son of parents Nancy and Donald? The isolation that his father enforces to avoid embarrassment isn't doing any favors, the meds that drug him out %25 of the time don't do much good, & he runs about most of the time attempting to care for his mother, resenting his father, and trying to keep hallucinations in check, all with the energy level of an ADD 8-year-old on a sugar rush.
Wait, it gets better. Everything is going, well awfully, until James becomes self-appointed caretaker of his sick Mummy when Daddy's away. The doors are locked, Dad's rotary dial phone is disconnected, and his pills are temporarily put on hold and taken irregularly.
All hints of good intentions fade and are taken over by tics, delusions, and angry fits. Now you get to pay to watch a Brocklebankian disaster, coupled with the most humiliations and sufferings I've seen inflicted on an elderly woman in quite some time. Kudos to Simon and Leo to make a character we can sympathize with despite ourselves, if you can get past the passive-aggressive, somewhat simpering personality. And I assure you, you will not hear the term 'man of the house' without cringing for days.
THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
8.66. Jack Nicholson
Mental illness? possession? Director's gimmick to make a damn creepy movie? Jack Nicholson, a not-so-normal guy, finds a not-so-normal character in Jack Torrence, and Stanley Kubrick makes to attempts to humanize or rationalize his antics at all.
Nicholson chews the scenery, runs about with sharp implements, and puts his wife and little son in imminent danger, with perhaps some supernatural help along the way. Oh, and he feels up a dead chick who just strangled his kid. Just watch it. You'll sorta understand, Maybe. Not really?
7.37. Summer Glau
River Tamm's a genius yes- her adoring brother (a gifted young man who threw away his dreams of being a doctor to save her) admits she makes him look like an 'idiot child.' But despite the fact she lacks in no intellectual areas, that's not making her illness any easier.
Unlike the others on this list, who presumably got ill-fated genetic wiring, River is an actual victim of experimentation & torture, complete with having the part of her brain that ought to repress pain and keep emotions in check damaged.Now her impulses come in childish fits and bursts- much to the misfortune of-everyone around her.
She isn't the favorite person of the crew on the illegal cargo ship she has been hidden on, traveling the far reaches of space (Yes, it's a science fiction show. And no, it's not doing me much to disprove deathwish's 'an-orgasmic lonely bitch nerd' theory, is it?)
River, due to her stunning intelligence, is shockingly perceptive while on her meds, a state of being that quickly segues into gobbledygook and vicious damage to the environment she inhabits. Summer was excellent at going from a 'mite unpredictable' to completely bad-ass in Whedon's unfortunately short show time without a beat- why does she not get more roles!?
FIREFLY & SERENITY
6.58. Sophie Okonedo
May's crippling blow came when her disheartened sister, July, shot and killed herself. May is now somewhat 'looked after' by her two remaining sisters, living in a bright pink house (colored on May's request) and working a beekeeping business. Things that might set May off are carefully alluded to sidestepped, and nearly everything sets her off.
When she becomes panicky, she inexplicably hums "Oh Susanna" and cries under her breath. She carries the weight of the innumerable sufferings that strike the world each day on her shoulders, writing kind of memorials and fragments written on paper, and slips them between the stone cracks of a 'wailing wall,' as a kind of release.
The activity is encouraged, but it worries her sisters and teenage house guest what happens when she runs out of space in the rocks. Roger Ebert mistakenly referred to the character as 'simple-minded,' but I think her childish and illogical mindset come from trauma, not retardation.
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
7.69. John Malkovich
Okay, Osbourne Cox may not have a mental illness per Se, but he's definitely a f**cked up individual. He's a CIA agent (who likes to think his rank is impressive,) and he throws comical, expletive filled fits.
No one can tell the guy he's an alcoholic, but when he is fired (which unleashed the expletives,) he resentfully goes home and pulls out the vodka while his chilly wife (Tilda Swinton) throws an Osbourne-worthy fit about him not bringing cheeses for a party.
The Situation gets worse when two incompetent blackmailers get hold of the memoirs he is writing and think it is hot stuff. What he does by the end is no longer humorous, and let's just say he has a hammer, a large knife, a alcohol-hazed brain, and a bad attitude.
BURN AFTER READING
6.810. Mary Stuart Masterson
It's mental illness- the *wacky fun* way. Joon's got some problems (those fires being set and hallucinations are a bummer,) but with help from her brother and a relationship with Johnny Depp, she can work with flying colors.
And the best part... she gets to retain some of her childlike whimsy once the psychosis ebbs. Who doesn't want to run through the streets wearing a scuba mask, right? And iron grilled cheese on toast?
Unlike Leo (below,) who jumped off the walls manically without being funny, Mary's illness seems more a quirky setback. The movie's a lot of fun- it's just this (like some other films here) may not be the ideal the mental health community wants you to view.
BENNY & JOON
7.311. Jamie Bell
Ever since (and maybe before) his mother died, over-devoted son Hallam has picked up strange pastimes in the eve of her absence, including wearing her make-up (for very manly warpaint,) and not quite knowingly looking for a girlfriend with resemblances to mum.
Her death, which was marked as a suicide, has become a subject of his attention, and he blames his shady new step-mom on her self-inflicted (?) drowning. At the same time he harbors a lust for his dad's new wife, and he writes erotic fantasies in a notebook in his tree house,where he regularly peeps on people's lives.
He may not be mentally ill per se, but he has enough complexes to fill a DSM-V book. And he proves as well that Jamie Bell (the kid from the sweeter, more optimistic film "Billy Elliot," has a long and illustrious career ahead of him.
712. Joseph Fiennes
Neil Bookman is psychotic, and a pedophile, and couragously fighting for the 'most disturbed' reward of "Running With Scissors," which may as well be named "Living With Loonies."
The funny thing is, his 'schizophrenia' was never alluded to in the memoir, and Ryan Murphy's adaptation seems to fuzzy him up, giving him a specific illness, and exponentially raising his 'consensual *cough* partner''s age, which was barely twelve in the book.
Also, there was nothing in the book that would suggest the consummation of the relationship was anything but an assault. Anyway, Neil is the foster son of a deranged psychiatrist, who condones his 'right' to be 'lovers' with his pre-teen, homosexual foster brother.
The really scary thing. *SPOILER* When Neil has a mental breakdown and leaves Augusten for good, someone on Imdb talked about how their predatory relationship was true love and how SAD it was that Augusten didn't continue playing mind games with a schizophrenic sex criminal.
RUNNING WITH SCISSORS
8.213. Ryan Gosling
I really hesitate to include Lars on a list specifically written for 'mentally ill' people, but it's fun to bend the rules, and hey, the guy's got problems. Lars' mother died at birth and his father didn't give a whole lot of concern for him, causing (?) him to grow up with an almost autistic-like aversion to touch.
He lives in his brother and sister-in-law's garage, works in a cubicle, and is satisfied with his life. Then he finds what he thinks is his salvation- a girl, so to speak.The trouble (and what alienates him from the members of his small community) is she's plastic- a life-size doll delusionally invested with love and affection, more for companionship than sex.
Helped by a sympathetic doctor and shockingly cavalier treatment from friends and neighbors, Lars tries to move through the grieving process and make his way to... well, a real girl.
814. Ralph Fiennes
Dennis 'Spider' Cleg-
In a gothic setting, in an ambiguous time and place, 'Spider' is released from a mental institution and taken to a drab half-way house, led by a cold headmistress.
He is quiet, almost catatonic, in his new environment, and literally revisits his memories (following his younger self and other characters of the past) and writing an incoherent scrawl in his note pad.
Just be careful, the way he remembers it differs greatly from how it actually happened. This gives me the chance to ask, why do so many guys with mental problems in the movies (especially in Europe) have issues with their mothers?! Seriously.
615. Ewen Bremner
Living with his family in New York (all of them reinforcing the stereotype that New Yorkers are loons) Julien is suffocated by a dysfunctional envirement (where he has gotten his sister Pearl pregnant) and crushed by religious guilt.
On top of that, his brother seems ashamed of him, he suffers from intense schizophrenia which controls his life, and his father is a wackjob who sprays Julien down with cold water to 'make him a man' and emotionally abuses them,
An essential part of '99 films to make you feel better about your own family.'
716. Andy Serkis
8.617. Heath Ledger
7.618. Robin Williams
7.119. Winona Ryder
6.220. Will Ferrell
Harold Crick- COMING SOON
721. Tom Wilkinson
6.822. Jamie Foxx
Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, Jr.- COMING SOON
5.623. Eddie Marsan
Scott- COMING SOON
5.724. Harland Williams
6.525. Téa Leoni
8.726. Werner Herzog
727. Annette Bening
5.628. Keir Dullea
David- COMING SOON
6.729. Sandra Hüller
630. Stephen Root
Milton Waddams- COMING SOON
7.731. Geoffrey Rush
Go to step 1 and refresh your memory.
8.132. Damien Lewis
COMING... never! Got to add some suspense to your day ,right?
7.333. Matthew Perry
COMING SOON ENOUGH
8.734. Johnny Depp
Benjamin Barker (Sweeney Todd)
COMING SOON ENOUGH
7.335. Elle Fanning
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