I Smile Back

Brash, painful and unswervingly honest


Movie title here

  • Brash, painful and unswervingly honest

I Smile Back

  • Brash, painful and unswervingly honest


Rated

R

Starring

Sarah Silverman
Josh Charles
Thomas Sadoski

Written by

Amy Koppelman
Paige Dylan

Directed by

Adam Salky



What to Expect

Sarah Silverman’s comic legacy is known to one and all. Her humor is not mass-friendly by a mile and a half, but sure hits hard and hits home. The least one remembers her of late in a dramatic role would be her recurring presence as herself in the FX show Louie.

I Smile Back, then, of course, seems to be her first visible breakthrough dramatic role. This quite predictably then generates enough curiosity within both her admirers and detractors. But what was needed to be seen was whether the movie itself would live up to her attempts to shift gears.

What’s it About?

Wife and mother of two, Laney (Silverman) seems outwardly blessed. Except, she’s not the picture-perfection she looks like to others.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Facade

Facade

To many viewers, a major problem of the film would be the film’s beginning. Save for a short prolog that doesn’t emotionally establish Laney’s universe the way it should, the story practically begins from the metaphorical middle. We’re shown but a few chapters of an entire book. One would find a lot more fascination in the unwritten precedents and thus want more. That Salky and the writers don’t give the viewers any solid, establishing background of Silverman’s suffering—or of the characters around her—would make this a rather unbalanced narrative for viewers to watch.

Additionally, Sarah Silverman’s character is extremely unlikable. She’s a compulsive liar, deliriously moody, and abuses herself with drugs more often than not. Her mental health issues, this time, don’t give her any excuse for us to empathize (or sympathize even) with her. Fundamentally, we can’t care about her, because there’s practically nothing for us to care about. But that’s the thing about drug addiction: it’s a despicable, vile black hole. There’s little to no redemption, and more often than not, people suffering from substance abuse don’t have picture perfect endings.

And this, quite simply, is the makers’ motto.

The movie is without frills, or shocking justifications, even. It’s a painful, often difficult to digest, commentary of how drug abuse almost surgically smashes down lives of those abused, and those around them. I’d have appreciated a further establishment of Laney’s husband and his emotional trauma, or of a potentially dynamic Donny, who always struggles to make things right. It does make sense, however, that the movie wants the audience to follow Laney through the major chapters of her deteriorated self. Of course, dark that the film is, Salky doesn’t entirely do away with irony in the movie. As the well-lit frames, courtesy Eric Lin’s gorgeously sharp cinematography, bathe the subjects, one’s in the realization that although it’s a bright ol’ sunny day, not everything’s fine and dandy.

To Perform or Not to Perform

Deterioration

Deterioration

As incredible as Josh Charles and Thomas Sadoski are, when the narrative follows Sarah Silverman, the director makes sure it’s for good reason. Silverman, in her first major dramatic role, is a revelation. Giving a tour-de-force performance, and without the slightest bit of manufactured empathy within the film, Silverman reaches out, her multi-dimensional act killing it through and through. From her centered scenes to her final broken interaction with Charles, she brings forth such a wide range of emotions hitherto unexpected that it’s almost too painful to witness her turn into a self-destructible person. She, in many different ways, is the film. And the makers more than appreciate that.

Worth it?

The film’s too centered on Sarah Silverman, and it doesn’t provide us the respite of a proper justification for Silverman’s doings. “Pretty boring really”, her character agrees with the psychiatrist.

Despite its flaws, however, it’s a painfully straightforward account of abuse and mental health illnesses, and how terrifying it can be for the sufferers and those around them. Additionally, the very fact that she’s not entirely a victim, and does practically nothing that makes us reach out to her puts the makers at a lot of risk, but Adam Salky wins it with his direct storytelling that just doesn’t know how to mince words. Worth the watch.

Consensus: 3.5 Stars
A-Okay!
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us


Rated

R

Starring

Sarah Silverman
Josh Charles
Thomas Sadoski

Written by

Amy Koppelman
Paige Dylan

Directed by

Adam Salky



What to Expect

Sarah Silverman’s comic legacy is known to one and all. Her humor is not mass-friendly by a mile and a half, but sure hits hard and hits home. The least one remembers her of late in a dramatic role would be her recurring presence as herself in the FX show Louie.

I Smile Back, then, of course, seems to be her first visible breakthrough dramatic role. This quite predictably then generates enough curiosity within both her admirers and detractors. But what was needed to be seen was whether the movie itself would live up to her attempts to shift gears.

What’s it About?

Wife and mother of two, Laney (Silverman) seems outwardly blessed. Except, she’s not the picture-perfection she looks like to others.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Facade

Facade

To many viewers, a major problem of the film would be the film’s beginning. Save for a short prolog that doesn’t emotionally establish Laney’s universe the way it should, the story practically begins from the metaphorical middle. We’re shown but a few chapters of an entire book. One would find a lot more fascination in the unwritten precedents and thus want more. That Salky and the writers don’t give the viewers any solid, establishing background of Silverman’s suffering—or of the characters around her—would make this a rather unbalanced narrative for viewers to watch.

Additionally, Sarah Silverman’s character is extremely unlikable. She’s a compulsive liar, deliriously moody, and abuses herself with drugs more often than not. Her mental health issues, this time, don’t give her any excuse for us to empathize (or sympathize even) with her. Fundamentally, we can’t care about her, because there’s practically nothing for us to care about. But that’s the thing about drug addiction: it’s a despicable, vile black hole. There’s little to no redemption, and more often than not, people suffering from substance abuse don’t have picture perfect endings.

And this, quite simply, is the makers’ motto.

The movie is without frills, or shocking justifications, even. It’s a painful, often difficult to digest, commentary of how drug abuse almost surgically smashes down lives of those abused, and those around them. I’d have appreciated a further establishment of Laney’s husband and his emotional trauma, or of a potentially dynamic Donny, who always struggles to make things right. It does make sense, however, that the movie wants the audience to follow Laney through the major chapters of her deteriorated self. Of course, dark that the film is, Salky doesn’t entirely do away with irony in the movie. As the well-lit frames, courtesy Eric Lin’s gorgeously sharp cinematography, bathe the subjects, one’s in the realization that although it’s a bright ol’ sunny day, not everything’s fine and dandy.

To Perform or Not to Perform

Deterioration

Deterioration

As incredible as Josh Charles and Thomas Sadoski are, when the narrative follows Sarah Silverman, the director makes sure it’s for good reason. Silverman, in her first major dramatic role, is a revelation. Giving a tour-de-force performance, and without the slightest bit of manufactured empathy within the film, Silverman reaches out, her multi-dimensional act killing it through and through. From her centered scenes to her final broken interaction with Charles, she brings forth such a wide range of emotions hitherto unexpected that it’s almost too painful to witness her turn into a self-destructible person. She, in many different ways, is the film. And the makers more than appreciate that.

Worth it?

The film’s too centered on Sarah Silverman, and it doesn’t provide us the respite of a proper justification for Silverman’s doings. “Pretty boring really”, her character agrees with the psychiatrist.

Despite its flaws, however, it’s a painfully straightforward account of abuse and mental health illnesses, and how terrifying it can be for the sufferers and those around them. Additionally, the very fact that she’s not entirely a victim, and does practically nothing that makes us reach out to her puts the makers at a lot of risk, but Adam Salky wins it with his direct storytelling that just doesn’t know how to mince words. Worth the watch.

Consensus: 3.5 Stars
A-Okay!
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us

Cast Sarah Silverman
Josh Charles
Thomas Sadoski
Director Adam Salky
Consensus: 3.5 Stars
A-Okay!

What to Expect

Of facades and the deep dark

Of facades and the deep dark

Sarah Silverman’s comic legacy is known to one and all. Her humor is not mass-friendly by a mile and a half, but sure hits hard and hits home. The least one remembers her of late in a dramatic role would be her recurring presence as herself in the FX show Louie.

I Smile Back, then, of course, seems to be her first visible breakthrough dramatic role. This quite predictably then generates enough curiosity within both her admirers and detractors. But what was needed to be seen was whether the movie itself would live up to her attempts to shift gears.

What’s it About?

Wife and mother of two, Laney (Silverman) seems outwardly blessed. Except, she’s not the picture-perfection she looks like to others.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Facade

Facade

To many viewers, a major problem of the film would be the film’s beginning. Save for a short prolog that doesn’t emotionally establish Laney’s universe the way it should, the story practically begins from the metaphorical middle. We’re shown but a few chapters of an entire book. One would find a lot more fascination in the unwritten precedents and thus want more. That Salky and the writers don’t give the viewers any solid, establishing background of Silverman’s suffering—or of the characters around her—would make this a rather unbalanced narrative for viewers to watch.

Additionally, Sarah Silverman’s character is extremely unlikable. She’s a compulsive liar, deliriously moody, and abuses herself with drugs more often than not. Her mental health issues, this time, don’t give her any excuse for us to empathize (or sympathize even) with her. Fundamentally, we can’t care about her, because there’s practically nothing for us to care about. But that’s the thing about drug addiction: it’s a despicable, vile black hole. There’s little to no redemption, and more often than not, people suffering from substance abuse don’t have picture perfect endings.

And this, quite simply, is the makers’ motto.

The movie is without frills, or shocking justifications, even. It’s a painful, often difficult to digest, commentary of how drug abuse almost surgically smashes down lives of those abused, and those around them. I’d have appreciated a further establishment of Laney’s husband and his emotional trauma, or of a potentially dynamic Donny, who always struggles to make things right. It does make sense, however, that the movie wants the audience to follow Laney through the major chapters of her deteriorated self. Of course, dark that the film is, Salky doesn’t entirely do away with irony in the movie. As the well-lit frames, courtesy Eric Lin’s gorgeously sharp cinematography, bathe the subjects, one’s in the realization that although it’s a bright ol’ sunny day, not everything’s fine and dandy.

To Perform or Not to Perform

Deterioration

Deterioration

As incredible as Josh Charles and Thomas Sadoski are, when the narrative follows Sarah Silverman, the director makes sure it’s for good reason. Silverman, in her first major dramatic role, is a revelation. Giving a tour-de-force performance, and without the slightest bit of manufactured empathy within the film, Silverman reaches out, her multi-dimensional act killing it through and through. From her centered scenes to her final broken interaction with Charles, she brings forth such a wide range of emotions hitherto unexpected that it’s almost too painful to witness her turn into a self-destructible person. She, in many different ways, is the film. And the makers more than appreciate that.

Worth it?

The film’s too centered on Sarah Silverman, and it doesn’t provide us the respite of a proper justification for Silverman’s doings. “Pretty boring really”, her character agrees with the psychiatrist.

Despite its flaws, however, it’s a painfully straightforward account of abuse and mental health illnesses, and how terrifying it can be for the sufferers and those around them. Additionally, the very fact that she’s not entirely a victim, and does practically nothing that makes us reach out to her puts the makers at a lot of risk, but Adam Salky wins it with his direct storytelling that just doesn’t know how to mince words. Worth the watch.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

We’re viral

Like usFollow us
Cast Sarah Silverman
Josh Charles
Thomas Sadoski
Director Adam Salky
Consensus: 3.5 Stars
A-Okay!

What to Expect

Sarah Silverman’s comic legacy is known to one and all. Her humor is not mass-friendly by a mile and a half, but sure hits hard and hits home. The least one remembers her of late in a dramatic role would be her recurring presence as herself in the FX show Louie.

I Smile Back, then, of course, seems to be her first visible breakthrough dramatic role. This quite predictably then generates enough curiosity within both her admirers and detractors. But what was needed to be seen was whether the movie itself would live up to her attempts to shift gears.

What’s it About?

Wife and mother of two, Laney (Silverman) seems outwardly blessed. Except, she’s not the picture-perfection she looks like to others.

Facade

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

To many viewers, a major problem of the film would be the film’s beginning. Save for a short prolog that doesn’t emotionally establish Laney’s universe the way it should, the story practically begins from the metaphorical middle. We’re shown but a few chapters of an entire book. One would find a lot more fascination in the unwritten precedents and thus want more. That Salky and the writers don’t give the viewers any solid, establishing background of Silverman’s suffering—or of the characters around her—would make this a rather unbalanced narrative for viewers to watch.

Additionally, Sarah Silverman’s character is extremely unlikable. She’s a compulsive liar, deliriously moody, and abuses herself with drugs more often than not. Her mental health issues, this time, don’t give her any excuse for us to empathize (or sympathize even) with her. Fundamentally, we can’t care about her, because there’s practically nothing for us to care about. But that’s the thing about drug addiction: it’s a despicable, vile black hole. There’s little to no redemption, and more often than not, people suffering from substance abuse don’t have picture perfect endings.

And this, quite simply, is the makers’ motto.

The movie is without frills, or shocking justifications, even. It’s a painful, often difficult to digest, commentary of how drug abuse almost surgically smashes down lives of those abused, and those around them. I’d have appreciated a further establishment of Laney’s husband and his emotional trauma, or of a potentially dynamic Donny, who always struggles to make things right. It does make sense, however, that the movie wants the audience to follow Laney through the major chapters of her deteriorated self. Of course, dark that the film is, Salky doesn’t entirely do away with irony in the movie. As the well-lit frames, courtesy Eric Lin’s gorgeously sharp cinematography, bathe the subjects, one’s in the realization that although it’s a bright ol’ sunny day, not everything’s fine and dandy.

Deterioration

To Perform or Not to Perform

As incredible as Josh Charles and Thomas Sadoski are, when the narrative follows Sarah Silverman, the director makes sure it’s for good reason. Silverman, in her first major dramatic role, is a revelation. Giving a tour-de-force performance, and without the slightest bit of manufactured empathy within the film, Silverman reaches out, her multi-dimensional act killing it through and through. From her centered scenes to her final broken interaction with Charles, she brings forth such a wide range of emotions hitherto unexpected that it’s almost too painful to witness her turn into a self-destructible person. She, in many different ways, is the film. And the makers more than appreciate that.

Worth it?

The film’s too centered on Sarah Silverman, and it doesn’t provide us the respite of a proper justification for Silverman’s doings. “Pretty boring really”, her character agrees with the psychiatrist.

Despite its flaws, however, it’s a painfully straightforward account of abuse and mental health illnesses, and how terrifying it can be for the sufferers and those around them. Additionally, the very fact that she’s not entirely a victim, and does practically nothing that makes us reach out to her puts the makers at a lot of risk, but Adam Salky wins it with his direct storytelling that just doesn’t know how to mince words. Worth the watch.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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