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‘Smashed’: Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Breakout Performance
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“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” “• Charles Bukowski

Director James Ponsoldt‘s first feature-length film, 2006’s Off the Black, featured Nick Nolte as a bitter, flustered high school baseball umpire and alcoholic. His second film, Smashed, stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as Kate Hannah, an elementary school teacher struggling to come to grips with her increasingly troublesome dependency on alcohol, even though her binge-drinking husband Charlie (Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad) doesn’t see a problem with it.

After a night of heavy drinking, Kate is forced to confront her alcoholism when she vomits in front of her 1st grade class. A precocious young student asks Mrs. Hannah if she’s pregnant, and in a moment of panic she explains the sudden, uncontrollable regurgitation as morning sickness. Her boss, Principal Barnes (Megan Mullally), is delighted by the news that Kate is pregnant and buys the lie hook, line, and sinker.

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