Christina Ricci …… Elizabeth
Jason Biggs …… Rafe
Anne Heche …… Dr. Sterling
Michelle Williams …… Ruby
Jonathon Rhys-Meyers …… Noah
Jessica Lange …… Mrs. Wurtzel
Prozac Nation is based on the autobiographical book written by Elizabeth Wurtzel, about her early years as a writer, focusing almost entirely on her first year at Harvard. Christina Ricci plays Elizabth Wurtzel, a young woman going to Harvard on a journalism scholarship. Throughout her younger years she had a history of depression, and the divorce of her parents was bitter to say the least. When she goes to Harvard she decides to become a whole new Liz, a sexy, mysteious writer Liz. She manages to pull this off experimenting with sex, drugs and whatever else she can get her hands on. Throughout the movie her “wild” do little more than mask her depression, after a birthday party held for her by her mother things really start to crack. Her relationships with her one real friend, men in her life, her mother all are incredibly damaged by her psychological problems.
The performances in this movie are strong across the board. Ricci is good as we’d expect, this is a she seems to play often, but at least she does it well. Jessica Lange and Michelle Williams are both also excellent. Biggs and Heche are solid in their roles, but neither required much real stretching or real talent, so it’s not a particularly big deal that they’re acceptable in this.
Beyond the strong performances the movie doesn’t have anything wrong with it that I can put my finger on, the movie doesn’t really gel as a whole. It’s a case where the whole is weaker than the sum of its parts, the directing, writing, cinematography and editing are all well done, but when everythings put together it drags, and you find yourself checking your watch often to see how much is left. One of the problems is the movie never really goes anywhere. For the vast majority of the film Liz Wurtzel is a psychological mess and it’s just a case of watching how she messes up the next relationship in her life.
The movie is presented in 16×9 Widescreen format, it looks good and I didn’t notice any video glitches or major problems with overall picture quality. Nothing made it jump out at me either
The movie is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, again the sound levels seem good, no extra loud music track or anything. There’s a spanish language track for those of you who want to listen to it.
This disc is really ligth on extras, there’s an episode of Anatomy of A Scene from the Sundance Channel. It depicts what they feel is a crucial scene between Elizabeth and her mother from all different aspects of film-making from directing, editing, cinematography, music, producing, and finally shows the final scene completely finished. I found this very interesting but I’m a sucker for these Anatomy of a Scene things, so your mileage may vary.
The only other special feature is that the DVD case actually has an insert with the chapter list and names, that seems to eb a rarity these days and it’s nice to see once in a while.