“At the eye of the storm of this film is a terrific performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate, a young married first grade teacher enthusiastically devoted to her students. She is able to keep her raucous drinking separate from her time in the classroom, but it's clear that she can't outrun her demons for long.
“Her drinking bouts are abetted by her husband Charlie (Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul). Kate and Charlie spend the majority of their time together like free-wheeling college kids - except that they're thirtysomethings. Kate slides into a semi-derelict existence. Her husband tends to laugh it off, but she decides to attend an AA meeting. She seeks out a sponsor (Octavia Spencer) and things look up. Then a huge blow catapults her off the wagon.
“While Smashed documents both the crazy highs and the terrifying lows of addiction, the story is primarily about commitment. Kate struggles in her relationship with her husband, who isn't keen on change, as well as with her determination to stay sober. It's a clear-eyed view of what happens when one half of a couple decides to change and the other doesn’t. But the film avoids painting the healthier option in golden tones. In fact, sobriety can seem rather dull compared with the light-hearted, if risky, times she and Charlie shared.
“With its gritty subject matter, lack of sensationalism, low- key style, and Winstead's smashing performance, Smashed is quietly affecting.” - Claudia Puig, USA Today


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