‘Smashed’ Gives Alcoholism a Young, Human, Beautiful Face

Mary Elizabeth Winstead offers a surprisingly pure, unadorned portrait of an alcoholic trying to change in “Smashed”

Kate is a really good first grade teacher with a problem: she drinks. Constantly.

So constantly she loses control of her bowels. So constantly she falls asleep during her sex, or her alcoholic husband does. So constantly that she smokes crack one night in a drunken stupor, and passed out in a garbage dump.

Her drinking has become a problem.

In “Smashed,” Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Kate, offers a surprisingly pure, unadorned portrait of an alcoholic trying to change.

“I was trying to find something that would challenge me,” she said in an interview with TheWrap. “I was getting jealous of other actors who were doing what they believe in, who were not working within a box. I was getting scared of not being a better actor, of not growing and changing.”

Her portrayal of Kate is a major leap forward from her previous work in movies like “The Thing.” Here is a video interview TheWrap did with her and costar Aaron Paul, who plays her husband. (Paul may be familiar to many from his TV work in “Breaking Bad.”)

The movie is up for acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival.