These 5 movies, which deal with mental health issues, range from the extremely disturbing to the ones that have happy endings.
10. Four Good Days
This was a tough one to watch. One of those movies that were so close to reality, it sparked something inside and pulled at the heartstrings. It made you want to hug mom a tad tighter at night. The movie stars Mila Kunis as a strung-out heroin addict wanting to go clean, and her worrisome mother, portrayed by Glenn Close. Molly (Mila) goes home to see if her mother, Deb (Glenn) would take her back and help her get sober. Kunis’ performance is raw and ugly - and I mean ugly in the best way possible. The movie treats addiction in a smart, genuine matter, and that’s what is important here.
4. Body Brokers
Still speaking of addiction, Body Brokers is based on a fightingly true occurrence that still happens in the United States. It’s a massive fraud scheme that uses addicts to lure other addicts. Utah (Jack Kilmer) must choose between doing what will make him wealthy and doing what will save his girlfriend, Opal (Alice Englert) because he is seduced by the money but troubled by the hypocrisy. Body Brokers refuses to sensationalize Utah's struggle or even pass judgment on him and his money-hungry associates.
3. Paper Spiders
Paper Spiders is a bluntly realistic depiction of how a single teen (Stefania LaVie Owen)
deals with or compensate for such a situation, and where she can and frankly cannot expect to find help when her only parent (played by Lili Taylor) battles mental illness. The movie is based on true events. Natalie Shampanier, the screenwriter, and her mother both lead private lives. She had a quirky sense of humour, was a devoted mother, and suffered from persecutory delusional disorder.
2. The King of Staten Island
With a break-out performance from Saturday Night Live cast member, Pete Davidson, King of Staten Island is a comedy-drama about Pete Davidson's upbringing in Staten Island, including the death of his father during 9/11 and his foray into stand-up comedy. In real life, Davidson has been upfront with his borderline personality disorder (BPD). While BPD isn’t mentioned in the movie, some scenes play out like the explosive episodes that define BPD.
1. Beautiful Boy
Beautiful Boy is based on the best-selling memoirs by father and son David and Nic Sheff and details their experience of surviving, relapsing and recovering while dealing with addiction over a long period. Even in its grungiest moments, the movie is a little too sterile; you never get the impression it might spin out of control and make you a little high on its supply. It is respectable, deadly serious, and dangerously dangerous.