May 11, 2015

Welcome to Me (2014)

Welcome to Me (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Shira Piven
Country: USA

Movie Review: Shira Piven’s sophomore feature, “Welcome To Me”, is a mordant voyage into the disturbed mind of the self-centered Alice Klieg (magnificently played by Kristen Wiig), a fanatic of Oprah Winfrey, who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder when she was 16 and is willing to spend a great part of her Mega-Millions fortune in the production of a television talk show whose topic is herself. Ironically or not, the film opens with a Montaigne’s sentence that starts: ‘I studied myself more than any other subject’. Well, we can’t say Alice knows herself, especially after stop taking the medication by her own initiative, getting more and more unpredictable and whimsical - after becoming a millionaire, she moved into a reservation casino and has a white limo waiting at the door. Her ridiculous 2-hour show ranges from culinary lessons, where she can silently eat up a big slice of meatloaf cake, to dramatic reenactments of both traumatic and joyous situations of her past. When her show goes on the air for the first time, she demonstrates an uncontrollable satisfaction in front of the cameras, talking about her illness and shamelessly making intimate revelations, like how she has been using masturbation as a sedative for so many years. As if this is not enough, her show gets a new dimension after she burns herself in the chest with hot soup and performs a dog castration, causing a judicial process by the ASPCA. In the meantime, the outrageous Alice sees a lot of personal relationships going bad, understanding that they must be fixed. “Welcome To Me” managed drawing some hilariously crazy moments but started slumping in the last third, exactly when Alice decides to make up with her beloved ones. Piven’s direction didn’t stand out, but didn’t compromise either, whereas Wiig is at her career-best.

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