Spreadin' The Love Around #2: Movies With A Mentally-Challenged Person

Jun 28, 2005

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I put together a list of movies that focus on a mentally challenged theme throughout the years, that are movies I would love to watch again and hopefully will. I’ve already reviewed many of my favorites in the past five and a half years, such as Don Juan deMarco with Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp, Tunes of Glory with Alec Guinness and John Mills, Harvey with James Stewart, Charly with Cliff Robertson, Mr. Jones with Richard Gere, The Other Sister with Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi, My Sister’s Keeper with Kathy Bates, Dolores Claiborne with Kathy Bates, Session 9, and Seconds with Rock Hudson.

Mentioned in other lists are Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe, A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe, Notorious with Ingrid Bergman, What About Bob? With Bill Murray, Now, Voyager with Bette Davis, Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant, Vertigo with James Stewart, What’s Up, Doc? With Barbra Streisand, Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, Detour, Carnival of Souls, M with Peter Lorre and A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh.

Still more I’ve enjoyed, but that don’t make my top ten, are One Hour Photo with Robin Williams, Taxi Driver with Robert Deniro, I Am Sam with Sean Penn, Girl, Interrupted with Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, 28 Days with Sandra Bullock and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Here are more excellent movies that I really enjoyed and I think you would too, but to spread the love around, some other excellent favorite reviewers on epinions.com will tell you why.

SECRETARY by Millinocket

Make no mistake, Secretary is no Cinderella. The themes explored here are entirely adult in nature. On the other hand, how different is it really from a “traditional” romance? We are presented with two people, each searching, albeit in different ways, for happiness. For Lee, her only outlet for feelings she doesn’t understand has been in cutting herself. Edward both understands this and frees her from it, and in doing so, allows her to begin a journey that leads her to a level of self understanding that she likely would never have achieved without him. For Edward, his search has always led him to shame and disgrace, and he is incapable of believing that there might exist someone who loves him the way he is, and fits with him the way he needs.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_96569888388

HAROLD AND MAUDE by thevoid99

While the idea of making suicide funny and the idea of young man falling for a woman old enough to be his grandmother seems strange and uncomfortable. The credit really goes to Hal Ashby for finding a whimsical, idiosyncratic tone to Colin Higgins’ smart, euphoric screenplay. The film is filled with funny and sad moments of a young man not sure of what he wants to do with his life, especially for the fact that he’s spoiled while he meets this old woman who tells him to make the most of it. The film is filled with wonderful lessons of life and love while at the same time; it’s entertaining in its strange, comedic tone. With its masterfully presented, colorful cinematography from John Alonzo

and the detailed, rich look from production designer, Michael Haller, and the nicely-paced editing of William A. Sawyer and Edward Warschilka, the technical aspects of the film helps out Ashby’s strange, quirky vision. The heart of the film’s upbeat tone is the music by Cat Stevens with most of the cuts taken from his “Tea and the Tillerman” album. Stevens’ upbeat, optimistic music filled with life-affirming lyrics that play as the perfect soundtrack to the film.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_158984932996

THE PLEDGE by disartain

The one theme I obtained from this movie was said loud and clear, when you reach a certain age you become one of the old senile people that are not to be believed. Jack played this part to the hilt; his character was believable and sad. A man that is bedeviled by his own mind and who seems at times to be suffering from PTSD with voices in his head and flashbacks of the children that were killed and the Indian that killed his self.

He is sure that he knows what he is doing and we know what he is doing, watching the movie, but his comrades in arms think he is an old man that has completely lost it. The shame of this movie besides the killing of innocent children is the complete lack of respect for people that have reached the age of retirement. The killer that he knows is there and never finds eventually leads to his breakdown.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_27810958980


The movie, directed by Milos Forman in 1975, captures a lot of the things that were (maybe still are) wrong with our treatment of mental illness. It paints a pretty bleak portrait of individuals just wasting away in the institutions. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) rules with an iron fist. She maintains the perpetual smile and polite talk. She does revel in the control she has over the patients lives. Louise Fletcher also puts in a fine performance here. She is almost sympathetic at times. In the book Kesey expands her control to include the degree of sway she holds over most of the staff. This aspect is not included in the film. It seems they wish to keep the large story to revolve around her and McMurphy.

Read all of it here:

QUILLS by steerpyke

One accusation that you can make about the films portrayal of de Sade is that it is watered down. Here de Sade is seen as a writer of teasing erotica, the reality is that his works contained the worst perversions imaginable. That they have taken that approach is probably for the best as the film remains in the realms of drama rather that pornography. Again its not important to go into detail about the historical accuracy of his writings as that is probably a film that would have a very limited audience and probably would not get passed the censor. History aside what remains in this story is a battle between the artist who believes in the freedom of the pen and the doctor who represents the censorship, yes it falls short of the true facts but it allows the film to have appeal.

Read all of it here: http://www.epinions.com/content_169087831684#ow

SHINE by youngching

Shine is the extreme example of what every man must do before becoming a man (and it has nothing to do with having sex with a woman): decide that what you do is not for pleasing or displeasing your parent(s), but that what you do is to please or displease yourself. Usually, and hopefully, this separation from dominating parental figures is not the cataclysmic event seen in Shine, where Peter tells his son that if he leaves the house to study music abroad, he can never step foot in the house again.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_110147178116#ow

THE KING OF COMEDY by ingysdayoff

The main metaphor of The King of Comedy is the old vs. the new; the Sinatra generation vs. the Warhol. Jerry Lewis, one of the greatest comedic actors on Earth, uses his celebrity status in this film to demonstrate the future of showbiz; talent and grace becomes second to scandal, humiliation, and disgrace. Fifteen minutes of fame fills the void of being a solitary entity within a nation which bathes in the desire to be famous.

As a result of viewing The King of Comedy again, its message hits much harder home than it did before. If one were to watch any given MTV program, there are shows which demonstrate the desperate desire to be famous or be seen on television: The Real World, TRL (with fans wanting their mug on millions of screens around the world), and where people will eat a disgusting food for a few clams. The young generation which, sadly, I am a part of, needs fame, as loving themselves is less important than being loved or seen by millions for a brief second. There is little if any difference between these people and Rupert Pupkin (from the movie), and that's scary as hell.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_85029129860#ow

ZELIG by yrebb52

From a purely technical standpoint, Zelig (1983) is a remarkable feat. Using vintage 1920s cameras, lenses and sound equipment--no computers--writer and director Woody Allen and his cinematographer Gordon Willis (nominated for an Oscar for his work on this film) are able to replicate the archival look of silent and depression-era films to such a degree that newly-shot footage is often indiscernible from newsreel and stock, though edited and juxtaposed together. For Zelig that's part of the gag. The movie carries the "mockumentary" form to a new plane of cinematic forgery. And predating the visual sleight-of-hand of Forrest Gump (1994) by more than a decade, Allen inserts himself neatly into a Nazi rally and a New York Yankees ball team with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Zelig took so long to make because of its intricate technicalities Allen was able to complete two other films before it was finished.

Read all of it here: http://www.epinions.com/content_91254918788#ow


Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is a family man; a lawyer with a prestigious law firm that represents a Madison Avenue publishing firm where Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) is employed. After a couple of chance meetings where sparks undeniably fly they find themselves stuck in a rainstorm, so duck into a restaurant to drink until the storm blows over. After drinks and dinner they repair to Close's lair and have one of the most pyrotechnical sexual encounters ever depicted in a big budget movie. When Douglas tries to sneak out she stops him and keeps him all weekend. Luckily for him, his wife and kid were out of town. He rushes home just in time to rumple the sheets and feed the leftover spaghetti to the dog before he heads to work. Little does he know that he has attracted a stalker who is going to change the course of his life forever.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_173854133892

OF MICE AND MEN by deaser26

John Malkovich (Killing Fields, In The Line of Fire, Con Air) plays Lennie Small, the retarded man of strength and power. He is a character of strange tidings in literature – gentle for the most part, but he can get out of control. He breaks things, is capable of crushing them and it makes him vulnerable and susceptible. What it really does is make him into Steinbeck’s Frankenstein. He wasn’t constructed by a mad scientist in the hills of Romania somewhere, but in the ghetto of starving California during the hardest of hard times in America town, the depression. He is the large and powerful, but mentally weak product of his generation.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_57566072452

A Couple I Want To See


As the film starts, Walter Mitty, portrayed by Danny Kaye at the zenith of his comic genius, appears a reasonably handsome, young editor for a pulp fiction publisher in New York City. It is early in World War II, and he is driving, with his dominating mother (Fay Bainter), to catch a train to work. She is goes on and on about all the purchases she wants him to make in town, and about an upcoming visit with his shallow fiancee and her mother that night. When he stops before a gigantic billboard advertising "Seadrift Soap Chips," his mind seeks relief in daydream:

"Somewhere off the South China coast, in the worst typhoon in 40 years . . . " Captain Walter Mitty is struggling with the wheel of his clipper ship, loaded full of half a million pounds of rare spices -- the pumps going "topoketa-topoketa-topoketa" -- when the beautiful girl of his dreams (Virginia Mayo) throws her arms around him and implores that he save her and the vessel!

Mitty almost has an accident.

read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/mvie-review-3DAE-1963C484-3A3D83B8-prod4

WHO AM I? by three_ster

This movie is one where he decided he would push all the limits that he had established in his prior movies. In that aspect, I mean that he made the action scenes more intense, and the fighting scenes more involved. The story begins when a secret agent (Jackie Chan) gains amnesia when he falls from a helicopter during a mission at the beginning of the film. He forgets everything about himself, including where he is from and even who he is. Suddenly he is being pursued by various people from many different agencies whom he has no idea why they are following him. Chan does a good job of this, and it actually adds a little something extra to each of the action scenes, because he is out only for himself. Jackie only survives that first mission, because he was thrown from the helicopter before it crashed and killed all the other members of his team.

Read it all here: http://www.epinions.com/content_34470334084#ow

My first Spreadin’ The Love Around essay with a love theme:

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