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Andrew

Madeline's Madeline

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Wow, what a beautiful, unsettling, cathartic film!  (The only weak spot for me was Miranda July's uneven performance.)  As a shrink, this got my engine revving, since mental illness period but especially adolescent illness is so hard to do correctly onscreen.  Though Madeline's illness isn't named in the film, I can't think of a better cinematic depiction of Borderline Personality Disorder ever.  As I've reflected on this film over the past 24 hours, I'm impressed with the cohesive unity of this film, how its opening scene and spoken words perfectly inform its title and conclusion.

Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/01/madelines-madeline-a-teens-battle-for-selfhood/

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19 hours ago, Andrew said:

Here's my full review

Great review, Andrew--I could have guessed at some of the psychological and mental health issues on display, but you give some really helpful language for understanding it better. I viewed the film more philosophically/theologically/pastorally (as is my wont), a film about identity and interpretation (and self-interpretation of one's identity), about performance and authenticity and the real self. I need to revisit the film again but I've wondered how much we're supposed to view the characters of Evangeline and Regina literally vs. figuratively/metaphorically. As in, are Evangeline and Regina real persons, or representations of persons (or personalities) within Madeline's interior?

Edited by Joel Mayward

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Thanks for the feedback, Joel.  One of my goals in my film writing lately has been to make my language more accessible when I veer into clinical territory, and it sounds like I succeeded here.

That's an interesting question about Evangeline and Regina.  Significantly, the film's opening words are something to the effect that Madeline's experiences/emotions are a metaphor.  I may be wrong in my interpretation, but I presumed these two women are real; but given the intense subjectivity of the film, that Madeline's perception of them is highly selective.  So, Regina may not be the wildly inconsistent mom that Madeline devalues; and Evangeline may not be the idealized leader who constantly lavishes praise and affection on Madeline. 

Such a rich film...

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