Archives / 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Smashed

Film Still

Director: James Ponsoldt

Screenwriters: Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt

Institute History

  • 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Kate and Charlie like to have a good time. Their marriage thrives on a shared fondness for music, laughter . . . and getting smashed. When Kate’s partying spirals into hard-core asocial behavior, compromising her job as an elementary schoolteacher, something’s got to give. But change isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Sobriety means she will have to confront the lies she’s been spinning at work, her troubling relationship with her mother, and the nature of her bond with Charlie.

Many films indulge the dramatic highs and lows of addiction. Refreshingly, Smashed is interested in the unglamorous middle path—what stumbling through recovery looks like. As Kate tests new boundaries and shoulders the consequences of her choices, this subtle story of imperfect transformation taps into truths about the challenges and losses intrinsic to living life honestly. Genuine performances and a grounded sense of place create an authentic, textured world where three-dimensional characters—neither all bad nor all good—occupy the uncomfortable grey zone of being human.


(Archives note: see also James Ponsoldt's Meet The Artist interview on our YouTube Channel.)

— C.L.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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