BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 18, 2013
Filled with breakthrough performances and an edge of emotion that never quits, “Manic” delivers Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel into the world of independent cinema in a way never seen before. Gordon-Levitt’s anger-infused Lyle is undeniable to the point that one cannot take their eyes off of him. With each scene, he grows and becomes more entertaining to watch. With Zooey wandering on the sidelines, her best moments do not hit until the third act. Yet, she steals every scene she’s in. Also impressive is Don Cheadle, who delivers a realistic look at a group leader on the brink just as much as his patients. Much like “Short Term 12,” first-time director Jordan Melamed’s dark, psychiatric ward pushes boundaries and produces some truly shocking dramatic turns. With a unique camera style and distinct choices in pacing, “Manic” sets the bar for independent dramas and proves that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has always been a fantastic actor. Having not produced any dramas since “Manic,” Melamed’s track record will remain one-for-one and there’s nothing wrong with that.
May 23, 2003
(for disturbing violent content, strong language and some drug use)
Gloria Rosa Vela