Thursday Movie Picks: Movies About Addiction

I'm addicted to the internet. I love staying connected, but that's not as destructive as the films I'm going to talk about today. This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is about addictions. I'm sticking with three separate addictions. Here's what I came up with. 

1) Smashed

This film follows Kate, a teacher with an addiction to alcohol. When that addiction leads to a very public incident at work, she tries to stay sober and her relationship with her husband suffers because of it. 

2) Trainspotting

Renton is addicted to heroin and struggles with trying to get out of the drug scene. We showed a movie called Wasted to teenagers in our addiction studies group at a former job. Effective, but I can't help but wonder how much more effective it would've been if we showed Trainspotting instead. You know, sometimes scaring kids out of something works. 

3) Shame


Brandon is addicted to sex. He's frequently hooking up with people, viewing pornography even when he's at work. Michael Fassbender is so spectacular in this film and he was robbed of an Oscar. 

24 comments:

  1. I thought Trainspotting would be popular today. I'm yet to see Shame although I've had on my shelf for an age!

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  2. I haven't seen Trainspotting in too long.

    I detested Shame. Ridiculously self-indulgent and self-important when it had absolutely nothing to say that we haven't heard plenty of times before in much more interesting, impactful ways. Fassbender and Mulligan gave great performances, but I was bored.

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    1. It's good to have all opinions on a movie, I either forgot or never realized you didn't like Shame. You don't hear that many people criticize it. :)

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  3. Good picks for the theme but of the two I've seen I was not a fan. What Daniel said about Shame is exactly how I felt about it and I loathed Trainspotting so very much. Haven't seen Smashed.

    I went with a mix of addictions, drugs and sex, this week as well.

    A Rage to Live (1965)-Soap opera pure and simple based on a John O’Hara novel about a woman who in more enlightened times would have been viewed as a person with a crippling disorder, nymphomania, that would require treatment but for our purposes here is a wanton slut. The great Suzanne Pleshette’s character Grace Caldwell Tate is ruled by urges she cannot control and nothing she attempts, marriage, a child etc., can stop them. There are minor attempts at some insight into her problem but they are quickly tossed away in favor of sensationalism. Good supporting cast including Peter Graves and in a rare on screen role Brett Somers Klugman from Match Game. If you enjoy trashy cinema with quality actors enacting silly situations with earnest professionalism this is right up your alley.

    Drugstore Cowboy (1989)-A “family” of junkies consisting of two couples (Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham and James Le Gros) drift around the country subsisting and feeding their habit by robbing drug stores. They float along in a perpetual haze until a tragedy opens the eyes of the leader Bob (Dillon) and he determines to go straight. It’s a struggle and only gets more difficult when someone from his past shows up and tries to force him into scoring drugs. Gus Van Sant directed film is relentlessly downbeat with one of Dillon’s best performances.

    The Doors (1991)-The story of the rise and fall of the 60’s rock band and its infamous leader Jim Morrison whose freewheeling lifestyle and many addictions lead to much acrimony within the band as well as his early death in Paris. Val Kilmer is terrific as The Lizard King, Meg Ryan less so as his wild child wife.

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    1. Hmm I've never seen that Doors bio pic, I probably should! I've heard of Drugstore Cowboy but A Rage to Live is completely new to me.

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  4. Great choices! Shame is probably the most depressing out of those three, Trainspotting wasn't that bad other than the whole thing with the baby

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    1. Trainspotting was just gross. lol. Perfect gross, but gross nonetheless.

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  5. 3 great films about addiction that are totally spot on with Trainspotting being my favorite film of those 3.

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    1. Trainspotting is definitely the most effective out of the bunch.

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  6. The only film I've seen is Trainspotting which was funny but also horrific. The ugliest bathroom scene almost made me wretch

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    1. There's a lot of ugly scenes in that movie lol.

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  7. Oh yeah, I think Trainspotting might have scared 'em straight. Great movie, as is Shame. I need to see Smashed.

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    1. Smashed is such a quiet little gem. I loved it.

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  8. Great picks! Trainspotting is amazing but quite disgusting too. Shame is easily my favourite of these three. I still cannot believe Michael Fassbender didn't win an Oscar for the role.

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    1. I can't believe he didn't even get nominated for it. WTF were they thinking?

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  9. Shame is a pretty powerful piece of filmmaking. Sex scenes have never been more painful. It's the dead baby in Trainspotting that did it for me. I never watched it again. I really really want to see Smashed. James Ponsoldt has yet to do me wrong. Love his movies.

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    1. Oh man, the one in Shame when he actually attempts to have sex with someone that wants a relationship is so hard to watch.

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  10. Oh, SHAME! Man, I totally forgot to mention that one.. damn it.. it will bug me for a while now. And I still haven't watched Smashed, shame on me!

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    1. I hate when that happens, I'm kicking myself for not thinking of Candy.

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  11. Trainspotting is a really great film. It has some absolutely disturbing scenes that make such a great case against addiction, yet at the same time it has a unique sense of optimism you don't expect from movies about addiction. In fact, when I think about it it's the characters that stand out most.

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    1. That's true, it does have strangely optimistic moments. I never looked at it that way.

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  12. Shame is the only one I haven't seen and I do want to see it, have heard generally good things about it.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.