Mental illness is a favorite theme of the movies. Are there movies that help you understand bipolar disorder? Are there movies that help you understand what the loved one without bipolar goes through?
My husband just recorded an old Clark Gable movie, Test Pilot, for me. He insists that this film represents his experience of bipolar disorder.
I can think of many movies about tortured artists that might be relevant.
But the film that helped me understand bipolar disorder best is Bulworth. I think this is a great film, but will admit that might be idiosyncratic. If you can stand to watch this film, and you love a bipolar person, you will be cringing almost the whole movie.
I also know that my husband and I are both haunted by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I am not sure how anyone with mental illness in the family ignores that film.
What films help you understand or cope with bipolar disorder? Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
Mr. Jones, Ordinary People, Bulworth, Pollack, Beautiful Mind, Girl, Interrupted, The Aviator, Call me Anna and Mad Love all come to mind. I know some deal with schizophrenia but sometimes, I feel our SO's might feel like they are living like so. I love movies, my boyfriend really likes a Beautiful Mind. I think because he loves academia & is working on his PhD, wanting to be a professor. Russell Crowe was excellent in that movie. For me, the most realistic & informative has been the documentary by Stephen Fry: Secret life of a manic depressive.
If you can find it online, I would recommend everyone watching Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. I found someone who downloaded parts on youtube (in 12 parts ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-dDVWQKbrY
03/19/2011 05:22 PM
Posts: 4891 VIP Member
I think "A Beautiful Mind" is a great movie about schizophrenia. What I love about it is that Alicia, the wife in the movie, is so loving and compassionate towards his diagnosis, staying with him when he was his sickest, but it also shows her struggles with having to raise the baby herself, bring in the income, and deal with his impotence when he was on meds. The movie has a lot of flaws, but it is so well done overall. I love the music in it, too. In real life, his wife divorced him and then after he got the Nobel Peace Prize, she remarried him.
My husband really liked the movie Michael Clayton. It showed a person who was very obviously in a full-blown mania. It was horrible and I didn't know how my husband was going to take it, but amazingly he could relate to it and he enjoyed it. In the movie, the person suffering from bipolar is featured as very intelligent, hard working, caring, and willing to stand up for what is right. But on the other hand, while manic, he is hypersexual, rapid speech coming through with non-sensical meaning, paranoid, non-compliant to meds, etc. The guy playing the part is excellent. George Clooney is Michael Clayton, "the fixer", he fixes everything that needs fixing in their law firm. That's all he does. He is very good friends with the guy who falls into the mania and the whole movie revolves around him trying to get the guy to trust him and their friendship, take his meds, etc. The other people in the movie, as usual, try to depict the illness and the person with it, as "crazy" and George Clooney goes to bat for him. (My husband loves that part of the movie) The guy with bipolar is still able to think clearly enough while manic to expose a company that is responsible for some contaminants, etc. They end up hiring some goons who kill him. There are a whole lot of other dynamics in the movie, from greed to bucking for position in companies, to scruples, etc. I didn't want to ruin the movie for you, but I think it is well worth the watch. Lots of profanity. No kids in the room will be best.
My husband was so touched by this movie because he could relate to the hypersexuality and the uncharacteristic behavior that full blown mania can thrust upon an individual. My husband was also obviously intrigued at the intelligence of the person who was portrayed with bipolar disorder. I do think it's important for people suffering from bipolar to be able to see some very positive sides to their illness. Some people may disagree with me and they don't list it as one of the symptoms of bipolar....but I think they should. Almost every bipolar individual I've ever met seem to be VERY, ABOVE AVERAGE, in intelligence. Remember, not all symptoms are characteristic of every individual suffering from it, so I think it would be fair to add it even if everyone didn't have that particular feature. But you know why I think it isn't brought out, openly, about the intelligence factor? Because alot of us don't want to believe it or just jealousy, in general. I like trying to find anything positive to encourage my husband since he didn't ask for this illness and has to live with it and the side effects of the meds. My husband is very intelligent and I love telling him that. This is just my opinion. My husband has suffered self-esteem and self-confidence issues since his full blown episode last year. I'm glad to see there are some things brought out in that movie that are positive about the person who suffers from bipolar than just all the bad things.
Post edited by: lollipop, at: 03/21/2011 11:33 AM
03/21/2011 01:21 PM
Posts: 3681 Group Leader
I liked "A Beautiful Mind," but my husband didn't, although that was before he was diagnosed. We also liked "King of California" and "The Soloist." The Soloist is more about schizophrenia, but it was beautifully done, and even though my husband was a bit triggered by parts of it, he says it's also realistic to how he feels sometimes. If you watch it on dvd, be sure to watch the extras that are almost as informative and moving as the movie itself.
03/21/2011 01:57 PM
Posts: 4891 VIP Member
Lolli, I agree, most people that I have met who have bp are very intelligent and creative. My husband never heard that enough growing up. All he ever heard was what a screw up he was, what a trouble maker he was. He is highly intelligent and that is the biggest thing that attracted me to him (besides how cute he is),but you just don't meet intelligent people very often, especially when dating. I like remind him of his gifts, as well. By the way, Michael Clayton is one of my favorite movies.
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