Is any societal problem more on public display in Hollywood depictions these days than addiction?
The past couple of weeks have seen the release of several films in which addiction themes receive a central role: the Robert Zemeckis film “Flight,” starring Denzel Washington as an alcoholic pilot who skillfully lands a plane in trouble after having used alcohol and drugs the night before, and the more limited-release features “Smashed” and “The House I Live In,” the latter an indictment of the U.S. war on drugs.
I saw the somewhat predictable but extremely well-acted “Flight” this past weekend, and it left me wondering if some of its telling references about addiction will register with a public for whom many subjects in treatment and recovery remain shrouded in mystery. Terms such as “high-functioning alcoholic” and “codependency” are not stated specifically in the movie, but Washington and a strong supporting cast successfully bring them to life in the script.
I’ve read one behavioral health blogger who believes “Flight” soars in its presentation of the nuances around many issues surrounding addiction, from criminality to family dissolution. Do those of you who have seen the movie agree? Also, share your comments about the other films I mentioned if you’re familiar with those as well.