Mental Health Awareness Month: “Garden State” Review

“Garden State” (2004) is a mixed bag for a number of reasons. But some aspects of its depiction of mental health are very well portrayed, especially for its time.

Andrew (Zach Braff) returns to his home town to attend his mother’s funeral. He’s depressed with a lot of baggage, and is now dealing with grief as best he can in his highly medicated state. While there he meets Sam (Natalie Portman) who encourages him to see life differently. Over the course of a few days, Andrew works on closing a painful chapter in his life and reopening a new and more hopeful one. Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month: “Garden State” Review

Social Isolation Review: “The Politician”

High school is tough. Everything feels like the highest of high stakes.  One wrong move, no matter how miniscule, will be the end of the world.  Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” feels like “Election” (1999) meets “All About Eve” (1950) meets a Coen Brothers’ film ALL on acid.  

Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) is gearing up for his senior year and his run for president of his affluent high school. He is ready to win because his path to Harvard and the White House all start with becoming school president.  His opponent, Astrid Sloan (Lucy Boynton), isn’t going to make it easy and Payton is okay with that. He likes the competition. They aren’t just fighting over class president, but vying for the affection of River Barkley (David Corneswet). Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “The Politician”