Thursday, January 20, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 77

Cougar Comics Online
Film Review: The Hurricane

The Game Boy

Soundtrack Review: The Hurricane


About the Cougar

Ryder, Jolie make Girl, Interrupted a beautiful, shouldn't-be-missed film 

Girl, Interrupted

Starring: Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Rating: R

Grade: B 

By Christine McCreary
Daily Cougar Staff

"People ask how we got there. What they really want to know is if they're likely to end up there as well. I can't answer the real question. All I can tell you is ... it's easy."-- Susanna Kaysen

"Who is 'crazy' in our society?"-- a place where mood-altering magical pills are dished out to the masses to cure, alter or pacify any behavior or emotion deemed "unacceptable," "unwanted" or "abnormal" by society's standards.

Suzanne Tenner/Columbia Pictures

Two-time Golden Globe Award winner Angelina Jolie portrays Lisa, a seductive sociopath on the ward who befriends many others in the new film, Girl, Interrupted.


Perhaps a better question is, "Who is 'normal'?"

In 1967 the whole world seemed to be losing its mind, and somewhere in the midst of all the confusion and chaos, a 17-year-old girl by the name of Susanna Kaysen was uprooted from what should have been the best years of her life and locked behind the walls of Claymoore Hospital.

Girl, Interrupted, directed by James Mangold, who adapted the screenplay from Kaysen's book of the same title, stayed true to Kaysen's real-life account of her stay in a mental hospital nearly 33 years ago.

In Girl, Interrupted, Susanna, played by Winona Ryder, is diagnosed as having a borderline personality disorder, defined by uncertainty about self-image, long-term goals, types of friends to have, which values to adopt and promiscuous behavior.

It is because of this diagnosis and the stigma surrounding it that Susanna begins to wonder if she truly is "going crazy."

Ryder beautifully and realistically portrays Susanna -- a character who seems to be just watching life through a window -- wishing she could be a part of it, wishing she could fit in, but all the while knowing she is different. And so she writes.

Ryder's character -- crazy or not? -- pales in comparison to that of Lisa, played by Angelina Jolie, who steals every scene she is in.

Jolie gives a shocking and seductive performance as Lisa, a self-absorbed, free-spirited, sociopathic villain of sorts who becomes a mirror and self-reflection to Ryder's character Susanna.

Other key characters in Susanna's transformation include: Valerie, the no-nonsense ward nurse played by Whoopi Goldberg, and Dr. Wick, the head psychiatrist, played by Vanessa Redgrave.

Girl, Interrupted will have the viewer on an emotional roller coaster, perhaps crying more than laughing as he relates to the personal inner turmoil Susanna goes through as she journeys through her self-reflection and transformation to pick up the pieces of a broken life.

Send comments to

Last update:

Visit The Daily Cougar