Touched with Fire
Directed by Paul Dalio
Carla and Marco are manic-depressive poets whose art is fueled by their emotional extremes. When they go off their meds, they end up in the same psychiatric hospital. As the chemistry between them stirs up their emotions, it intensifies their mania. Despite doctors' and parents' attempts to separate them, they pursue their beautiful but destructive romance which swings them from fantastical manic highs to suicidal depressive lows, until they have to choose between sanity and love.
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★★★½ review by Jeffrey Atwood on Letterboxd
This is Silver Linings Playbook wiped clean of any commercial input, inaccuracy, or humor.
The authenticity in story and expertise in camerawork combined here is almost unheard of. At times this feels too real.
Everything that the characters are feeling you can certainly feel too.
This isn't one that I think I'll return to very often, simply because it is startlingly devastating and sensitive.
Whether Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby are expressing the highs of a manic episode or the lows of their despair, this thing is alive.
★★★★ review by Auteur on Letterboxd
One of the better films out there to examine bi-polar disorder, as it does not exploit the condition for laughs (like Silver Linings Playbook), while at the same time it transcends its trappings as propaganda (famed author of the source novel Kay Redfield Jamison actually has a cameo) through pure respect for its subject matter and actors who truly surrender to their roles. Luke Kirby and Katie Holmes are fantastic as two lovers who meet during hospital stays, and rage against the system that tries to keep them apart and medicated, and director Paul Dalio keeps things interesting and unpredictable by adopting their perspective - an inside looking out approach, rather than outside looking in - which makes this more than just Lifetime fodder.
★★★½ review by Aaron King on Letterboxd
★★★½ review by TheMovieWaffler.com on Letterboxd
Director Paul Dalia lives with Bipolar Disorder himself, so this is obviously a nod to his life and also everyone else that lives, or has lived with the condition. This is not a Hollywood romance, but an accurate portrayal of real relationships and struggles.
★★★★ review by Crim on Letterboxd
Caveat: This is not a subtle movie; it's not an artistic exploration of mental illness as part of a story - this is the story. It is a depiction of 2 bipolar people and their interactions with families and each other. It's as if someone who watched Silver Linings Playbook decided to make an "but actually..." movie. For this, it is priceless. It's not an easy watch and, it seemed to me, is not slavishly dedicated to "educating the viewer". I don't know how much someone who has no experience with mental illness can understand. Maybe I am underestimating people. Anyway, I found it truthful, sad, and satisfying.
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