Welcome To Me Review – Strong Ensemble Performance Tackles Mental Illness with Humor

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Welcome to Me, from Bron Studios and Gary Sanchez Productions, brings to the screen a sharp, edgy, entertaining experiment into the mind of an engaging, although, somewhat narcissistic lottery winner to the chagrin of those around her.

Directed by Shira Piven, Welcome to Me stars Kristen Wiig, and a strong supporting cast including Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, Wes Bentley, James Marsden and Linda Cardellini. Welcome to Me was written by Eliot Laurence.

Welcome to Me begins in a darkened messy room, in the early morning hours, as Alice Klieg, embodied by Kristen Wiig, a functioning bi-polar, manic depressive, AHD, who needs repetition to feel in control, is hooked on a late night infomercial. To say she is a creature of habit is mild.

As the sun rises on this day we meet her core support team: a friend, Gina played by Linda Cardellini, Dr. Moffat, her psychiatrist, played by Tim Robbins, and also a few of the strangers who also live in Palm Desert California, a tiny oasis in the desert  . . .somewhere.

The need for repetition is known by all and without asking, the deli owner, in a uncredited role, takes Alice her breakfast as she chats with a stranger, includes a lottery ticket and coffee, along with the change as she routinely pays everyday exactly the same, with cash, and receives the exact change every day, 365 days a year, for as long as she can remember.

Tonight the Powerball jackpot numbers are read and our Alice suddenly, who with a medicated evenness, wins the 86 million dollar jackpot.

Never quite understanding why the world has boundaries, being California’s newest multi-millionaire eases the restrictions and Alice believes she can tell the world the truth and it will care, welcome her opinions and critiques.

Stumbling on a struggling local TV station, she decides wants a talk show and she will call it Welcome to Me so she can tell her story to the world. This is the point where Welcome to Me, turns into a serious dramedy.

The comedic moments, as the very strong ensemble cast, Joan Cusak, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wes Bentley and James Marsden become Alice's newest support system, are so well played and laugh out loud funny.

The Welcome to Me producing team inadvertently becomes dependent, while trying to maintain a level of professionalism, on Alice’s willingness to stake the station and pay out of pocket for the production costs and she becomes a lifeline as the tiny television studio in the middle of the desert has yet to become the mecca of late night insomniacs.

As the show airs, the night owls suddenly see something in the narcissist sadness. Recreating what she considered the defining moments of her childhood, adolescence and teen years, she begins to use the time to pay back those whom, in her medicated mind, have injured her.

Self-adsorbed, lost, out of her routine and off her meds, Alice, becomes increasingly harmful and injurious to others, herself and the overwhelming despair translates. Suddenly her friend, of which she has one, loses her job, and instead of offering to help her ridicules her on the show.

I was very impressed with this indie. It is exceptional. Welcome to Me has moments of chortling laughter and equal sadness as the film is very well acted and the mental health issues are presented with authenticity. 

There are many fine moments in Welcome to Me, with a sharp support cast who delivers strong performances while poking fun at the television production process.

Welcome to Me is an entertaining, sharp, and edgy box office choice. Welcome to Me opens May 1, 2015. Check local listings.

Haute Tease

  • The Wellesbourne Unveils New collection of Small Plates

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Wellesbourne, located on LA's westside, announces the launch of their new collection of sharable plates, elevated renditions of recognizable dishes with a Wellesbourne twist. Considered a "hidden gem" The Wellesbourne is also known for unique cocktails.

     
  • Photography Accessories Review – Cool Ways To Capture it All

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Digital photography has revolutionized the way we take, share and store photos. Whether you're a pro looking for a better way to showcase your portfolio or simply striving for the perfect selfie, these four photography tools will bring your shots to life in entirely new and exciting ways.

     
  • Martial Vivot and French Wink Host Father’s Day Event

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Martial Vivot, the renowned men's hairstylist has paired with French Wink for Father's Day and, in celebration is offering to the public a curated assemblage of French men's and unisex brands selection of unique luxurious French creations at salon pour hommes.

     
  • Bound By Flesh Review – Surprisingly Engaging

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Bound by Flesh,"  from Mistress, Inc. and Sundance Selects re-introduces the freak show stars, Daisy and Violet Hilton, with this fascinating, intriguing and absorbing historical account of the lives, loves and career of the conjoined Siamese twins.

     
  • Conversations with the Masters: Chef Andre Soltner

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Andre Soltner, at 78, is internationally recognized as the first "superstar" chef and a Master Chef of the highest honors. While still young he left home, to begin an apprenticeship that would transport him to worlds unknown. 

     
  • Pilot of Doomed Malaysian Airliner MH 370 Main Suspect

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 nears the three month mark, the sad conclusion has wiped the doomed airliner off the media radar with the same intensity as the night the plane disappeared into the night sky enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.

     
  • Patriots Day Review – A Triumph! Powerful, Authentic, Challenging

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    PATRIOTS Day, from CBS Films and Lionsgate, brings to the screen a recreation of the Patriots Day Boston Marathon bombing, the stunning finish line trauma, a four-day manhunt, and the key players that made Boston residents and Americans feel a national pride.

     
  • Sir Winston’s Restaurant & Lounge Review - The Ultimate Five Star Gourmet Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sir Winston's Restaurant & Lounge, RMS Queen Mary, located aboard the historic vessel moored in Long Beach Harbor, is one of the more formal dining destinations in the region offering award winning, five-star cuisine, white glove service against a backdrop of golden romantic ambiance.

     
  • Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Review - Exudes the Spirit of Scottsdale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, a Starwood Hotel jewel in the beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona desert, exudes the spirit of a bygone era and the modernism of a luxury community with breathtaking views, spectacular attractions and rejuvenating ambiance.

     
  • North Dakota Pipeline Dissidents Michael Foster, Sam Jessup Convicted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    After Judge Refused to Allow Climate Change Experts To Testify In Their Defense, Climate Activists Michael Foster and Sam Jessup Are Convicted on Felony Charges in North Dakota Court for Shutting Off the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline.

     
  • Maya Smith, Celebrity Hair Stylist, Gives Straight Talk on Curl Care

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whether they want to blow it straight, or create loose curls or maximize their tighter coils, people with wavy or curly hair are always looking for new products, tips and tricks to lock in their desired look.

     
  • Brooklyn Review - A Classic Romantic Love Story

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BROOKLYN, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, brings to the screen a story of hope, courage and bravery, of embracing the chance of finding a new life, of sacrifice, and the hope of the future and the eyes to see when destiny arrives.

     
  • Money News: DOW Rebounds; London, Canada Follow; Mexico, India, Hong Kong Markets Down

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, gave chase to the bear market, regained nearly all the previous week losses surging with triple digit gains to, in one week, regain the standing of the previous week and year profits.

     
  • UPDATED: From CANNES: Juanita Onzaga's short film "Our Song to War" has been selected for the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    OUR SONG TO WAR by Juanita Onzaga is nominated for the  L’ŒIL D'OR  – Documentary Award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. L’Œil d'or recognises documentaries selected for the festival and will be presented on Saturday, May 19th. 

     
  • Mexico's West Coast; Warm Pacific Breezes, Gorgeous Sunshine, Hypnotic Seas, Pristine Shores

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mexico’s West coast from Los Cabos to Puerto Vallarta to Acapulco, have, for approximately 30 million U.S. citizens according to the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office, continued to reign as the destination of choice.