Smashed (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Smashed (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Produced by Jennifer Cochis
Jonathan Schwartz
Andrea Sperling
Written by James Ponsoldt
Susan Burke
Music by Eric D. Johnson
Andy Cabic
Cinematography Tobias Datum
Edited by Suzanne Spangler
Super Crispy Entertainment
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s)
  • January 22, 2012 (2012-01-22) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12) (United States)
Running time 81 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $500,000[2]
Box office $499,725[3][4]

Smashed is a 2012 American drama film directed by James Ponsoldt, written by Ponsoldt and Susan Burke, and starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul.[5] The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2012 and won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing.[6] On February 5, the film was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics[7] and was released on October 12, 2012.[8]


Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an elementary school teacher, comes to work drunk and vomits in front of her class. Asked by a student if she is pregnant, she pretends she is, and continues to the lie to the school principal Mrs. Barnes (Megan Mullally). She talks to her co-worker Dave (Nick Offerman), where he reveals to her that he knows she’s been drinking. Kate makes Dave swear not to tell anyone about it.

Later she attends a party with her husband Charlie (Aaron Paul) and his brother Owen (Kyle Gallner) and drinks heavily. As is leaving, she meets another woman who asks Kate to give her a ride. As Kate drives her home, she offers crack and the two get high together. The next morning Kate wakes alone on the street. She recovers her car and drives home, where Charlie acknowledges that both of them are alcoholics. The couple gets intoxicated at night and they have sex shortly before Charlie passes out and rebuffs Kate. She heads out alone with a bike to buy wine but she is turned down by the cashier. She urinates on the floor because the bathroom door is locked and runs away from the store, stealing a bottle of wine. She wakes up and realizes she has passed out again.

She goes to work and talks to Dave, who is a recovering alcoholic and invites her to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. There, Kate befriends Jenny (Octavia Spencer), who has chosen a love of food and cooking over alcohol. Over the course of her stint in the program, Kate decides to stay sober and change her life. While Dave drives Kate home, he confesses to her how he likes her but bluntly makes an offensive comment which upsets her. Kate and Charlie visit Kate’s estranged alcoholic mom, Rochelle (Mary Kay Place) and Kate tells her about her AA meetings. Rochelle is skeptical; Kate's father left them after getting sober and now lives in another state with his "shiny new family".

Kate is surprised the next day when she is thrown a baby shower by her colleagues, although she wants to admit the truth about not being pregnant. Later, she reconciles with Dave putting his comments behind them. At home, Kate and Charlie argue when it becomes clear Charlie told Owen and his friend about Kate smoking crack. That night, she rebuffs Charlie's sexual advances. At school, Kate is questioned by one of her curious students as to why she’s not getting any fatter. Kate feigns a miscarriage and the class accuse her of killing her baby, for which she reprimands them.

At home, Charlie tells Kate to tell the truth, even if she loses her job. Kate lashes back at Charlie and tells him that she would never depend on Charlie’s parents' money and that she has struggled with it her whole life. Kate decides to tell Mrs. Barnes the truth, and is fired. Kate drives alone to a bar and relapses. Kate is driven home by Jenny and Dave and then starts an argument with Charlie, who finally realises she has a drinking problem.

Later Kate speaks at an AA meeting, celebrating one year of sobriety. Meanwhile, Charlie gets in trouble for riding a bicycle while drunk. Kate visits Charlie and they play croquet. Kate admits she’s still worries about him and Charlie asks her if she would move back in with him if he begins going to meetings. Kate says he must get sober for himself, not for her. Charlie then asks Kate to play another round, to give him a chance to redeem himself. The film ends before Kate gives her answer.



On September 21, 2011, Super Crispy Entertainment announced the casting of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as the leads in "dramatic comedy" Smashed, with Octavia Spencer and Nick Offerman co-starring. James Ponsoldt directed from a screenplay he wrote with Susan Burke.[5]

Shooting completed on October 22, and Smashed entered the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on November 30.[9]


On July 25, 2012, Variety reported that Smashed was playing at the Deauville American Film Festival, which ran from August 31 - September 9.[10] Smashed was also screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[11]

The film was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics on February 5, and released on October 12, 2012.[8][12]


The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a "Certified Fresh" score of 84% based on 102 reviews with an average score of 6.9/10.[13] Metacritic gave the film a score of 71 out of 100, based on 32 reviews.[14]

Winstead has received critical acclaim for her role. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of four, saying that "This is a serious movie about drinking but not a depressing one." He praised Winstead's performance in the film, saying that "Mary Elizabeth Winstead is sort of wonderful in this movie, worn and warm. She doesn't play a victim. She has that courage an alcoholic requires to persist in the punishment of getting drunk day after day."[15]


The soundtrack listing was released on Film Music Reporter on September 21, 2012. The soundtrack, released by Lakeshore Records, was released digitally on October 9, 2012.[16] The soundtrack features a mix of the film's original score composed by Andy Cabic and Eric D. Johnson as well as music from other artists heard throughout various portions of the film.

  1. "Shower and a Beer" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  2. "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" – Richard and Linda Thompson
  3. "Wake Up and Run" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  4. "Someone2Dance" – Bart Davenport
  5. "Highland Park Bike Ride" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  6. "Por Ti" – Omero Guerrero
  7. "Dreams-Come-True-Girl" – Cass McCombs
  8. "Lake Arrowhead" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  9. "When the Shelter Came" – Dark Meat
  10. "Santa’s Village" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  11. "Planet of Women" – Sonny & The Sunsets
  12. "One More Game of Croquet" – Andy Cabic & Eric D. Johnson
  13. "Our Anniversary" – Smog


External links[edit]