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Shrink premiered at the Sundance Festival and opens today in New York and Los Angeles

What happens when the people we count on to hold us together ... are barely holding it together themselves? Jonas Pate's Shrink is a striking, fast-paced expose of the "other" Hollywood, featuring folks living outside their comfort zone and the people who put them there.

Henry Carter (Kevin Spacey) is a psychiatrist with an A-list clientele, including a once-famous actress (Saffron Burrows), an insecure writer (Mark Webber), and a comically obsessive-compulsive superagent (Dallas Roberts). Henry is not in a good place, however. He has been asked to take his first pro bono case, a troubled teenage girl from a neighborhood far from the Hollywood hills. Considering his present state of mind, is he ready for the real-life troubles of a young woman who loves the world of movies he has become so jaded by?

At its core, Shrink is a study of control and our endless need for it, even when it grows increasingly impossible to obtain. Writer Thomas Moffett uses classic archetypes in this modern Hollywood tale, but never pushes them over the edge of credibility. Performed by a well-matched cast at the top of their form, the result is both satisfying and exhilarating. Watching Shrink makes us feel like voyeurs looking through a window into the lives of people who look great, feel worse, and end up behaving badly. (Synopsis by John Cooper in the Sundance Film Guide)

Shrink movie poster
Run time: 110 minutes
Screenwriter: Thomas Moffett; Director: Jonas Pate
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Keke Palmer, Mark Webber, Dallas Roberts, Saffron Burrows, Robert Loggia
MPAA Rating:  Rated R for drug content throughout, and pervasive language including some sexual references.

"In Shrink, this sick-soul-of-Los-
Angeles drama, Kevin Spacey plays a psychiatrist to the stars, but the character is such a wretch -- an addict who's gone numb over his wife's suicide -- that he just sits there, slack and glum, without the pretense that he's helping anyone. The movie is slack too. It wants to be Good Will Hunting set in the land of Entourage, but its bummed-out touchy-feeliness is every bit as concocted as its overly jaded showbiz corruption." Entertainment Weekly

"Like smog settling over Los Angeles, a creeping sense of anomie haunts the Hollywood power players and parasites sidling nervously through "Shrink," a portrait of a disenchanted therapist to the stars and his clientele. No actor is better than Mr. Spacey at conveying a bone-deep cynicism, in his case usually accompanied by a malicious, needling wit. The doctor's clients, many of whom are professionally interconnected, make up an unglamorous composite picture of players and hopefuls in the Southern California entertainment axis. The most vivid are Patrick (Dallas Roberts), a superagent and hypochondriacal worrywart suffering from extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder; and Jack (an uncredited Robin Williams), an alcoholic movie star who frets about his possible sexual addiction while refusing to acknowledge his drinking problem. Other characters, none of whom is as sharply drawn . . . are mostly too sketchy and their connections too contrived for "Shrink" to jell as an incisive ensemble piece. But the atmospheric cinematography (by Lukas Ettlin) and hovering music (by Brian Reitzell and Ken Andrews) lend "Shrink" a queasy downbeat mood." NY Times

"Reminiscent of his character from American Beauty, Spacey (as the celebrity shrink-turned-pothead) delivers a performance here that's not to be missed, and the supporting cast takes what could've been another film about annoying egotistical Hollywood types from Los Angeles and turns it into one that's funny, serious, sweet, sincere and a little bit sideways. Definitely worth the watch. Performed by a well-matched cast at the top of their form, the result is both satisfying and exhilarating. Watching Shrink makes us feel like voyeurs looking through a window into the lives of people who look great, feel worse, and end up behaving badly. A tart, funny, and uplifting drama about the courage it takes to achieve happiness." Cinematical

"Shrink is a clinically uneven comedy. While there is witty dialogue, the plot sometimes takes forced and unconvincing turns. Contrivances and ridiculous coincidences, though, are offset by the strong performances of Kevin Spacey in the title role and Keke Palmer as his troubled teenage patient. Spacey gives his best performance since Swimming With Sharks, and Palmer, the young star of Akeelah and the Bee, has matured into an actress of depth and nuance. Robin Williams has a small and nearly pointless part as a has-been star who claims he is a sex addict, though the good doctor insists that he's an alcoholic. He has some clever dialogue, referring to enjoying the escapades of a randy friend vicariously as "coitus descriptus." As a Hollywood satire, Shrink brings nothing new to the table. And the film makes it seem as if only about a dozen people live in Los Angeles, based on how often these characters run into each other and intersect each other's lives. But the moments of wit and pithy observations, and especially Henry and Jemma's sagas, keep viewers engrossed." USA Today

Source:  MoviePoster

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