‘Elizabeth Blue’ Examines Mental Illness in Powerful, Inventive Ways

Elizabeth Blue

People from all walks of life deal with mental illness. Despite the fact that it’s so prevalent, it’s still so widely misunderstood. You can’t just “Snap out of it” or “Pull up your bootstraps” to suddenly cure the darkness that clouds the mind. The new drama from director Vincent Sabella, Elizabeth Blue, follows its main character and her battle with schizophrenia. Sabella vividly captures the horrors of mental illness in a haunting and effective manner, allowing the film to overcome its slow pacing and insulated plot.

Elizabeth (Anna Schafer) has just been released from a mental health institution and is getting ready to reestablish her life on the outside with her fiancé Grant (Ryan Vincent). There’s an apprehension to Elizabeth, as if the ground she walks on is wobbly and unstable. Grant is a kind and understanding partner, willing to offer support and guidance to his fiancé and even accompanies her to appointments with her psychiatrist Dr. Bowman (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Even things are going well, there’s still that darkness that haunts Elizabeth, often manifesting itself at night in nightmarish visions of doubt and self-loathing. And a surprise visit from her mother (Kathleen Quinlan) doesn’t help the young woman’s tenuous grip on reality. Elizabeth isn’t sure if she’ll be able to keep herself together as she prepares for her big walk down the aisle.

Vincent Sabella and co-writer Alfred D. Huffington do an excellent job in creating a sense of unease with their main character. That sense of unease is amplified immensely when Elizabeth finds herself in the throes of an episode, and Sabella corners Anna Schafer in confined quarters while her darkest thoughts are manifested as a man pressuring her to take her own life. These scenes are incredibly intense, an inventive and horrifying way to visually convey the horrors of mental illness without ever dabbling in exploitative means. And Anna Schafer delivers a powerful performance as someone struggling to maintain their grip on reality as their mind is actively working against her efforts.

And yet there’s always a feeling that something is off in Elizabeth Blue. Some aspects are almost too idyllic and leave the audience asking certain questions that only grow more and more as the film progresses. These questions somewhat dilute a big reveal at the end of the film. That reveal would’ve been much more effective had Elizabeth Blue been able to concern itself with a little bit more than just a repetitive cycle of treatment and an ensuing episode. The plotting of the film is rather deliberate and slow in many moments that are seemingly intended to be the quiet before the storm, but it’s too quiet and since it’s not that engaging it allows the viewer’s mind to wander and perhaps get a bit ahead of the story.

Elizabeth Blue is a movie with its heart and mind in the right place even if its execution doesn’t always meet its intentions. This is a well-acted movie that has nothing but empathy for the psychological torment of its main character, and cinematically conveys that pain with a creative visual style. Sometimes the film slows down a bit too much and that does hurt it later in the story when it should be ramping up, but for the most part Elizabeth Blue is an effective drama that establishes Vincent Sabella as an emerging voice in independent cinema.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Ballad of Lefty Brown Trailer
Bill Pullman Seeks Bloody Vengance in the Trailer for ‘The Ballad of Lefty Brown’

Everyone loves a good ol’ fashioned revenge flick, and A24 and...

Wonderstruck
Todd Haynes’ ‘Wonderstruck’ Weaves Two Beautiful Tales Into a Majestic Whole

There are two stories that intertwine in Todd Haynes’ Wonderstuck, the...

Shudder Universal Monsters
Just in Time for Halloween, the Universal Monsters Land on Shudder

You may not have noticed this, but we’re inching closer and...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
8.0/10
Review – Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash (PS4)

When was the last time PBS was this exciting? Senran Kagura:...

Save the Light
Cartoon Network Reveals Global Launch of Steven Universe RPG ‘Save the LIght’

Cartoon Network finally announces the global launch of the Steven Universe RPG Save...

Yu-Gi-Oh! Code of the Duelist Special Edition
Kind of Like a Cheat Code – Yu-Gi-Oh! Code of the Duelist Special Edition Review

It’s kind of like using a cheat code without cheating –...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
hello kitty coloring
VIZ Media Releases New Hello Kitty and Friends Coloring Book

VIZ Media expands its catalog with one of the world’s largest...

8.0/10
Red Robin Returns in Detective Comics No. 965…or Does He!?!

Title: Detective Comics #965 Writer: James Tynion IV Penciler: Eddy Barrows...

viz
VIZ Media Announces New Digital Manga Content For August Update

TLDR New Viz Media digital manga updates for August that include...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
GodMode
The Brain Booster Specifically for Gamers – GodMode

For those struggling to get a positive K/Dratio, Boss Level Labs...

Circuit Break
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Dragons Soar and Wires Get Crossed Due to a Circuit Break

Legendary Dragons soar and wires get crossed thanks to Circuit Break...

Legendary Dragon Decks
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Legendary Dragon Decks Releasing 10/6/2017

Everyone favorite mythological creatures are hitting the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG hard with the...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
AXS TV Closes NJPW’s ‘G1 Climax 27’ With Four Episodes From The Final Weekend Beginning Friday Oct. 13

Los Angeles, CA (Oct. 11, 2017) – “Rainmakers” and “High Fly...

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Rocky Romero has created an auction to raise money for UNIDOS por Puerto Rico Disaster Relief

I’m The costume was worn by Rocky during the final Roppongi...

Douglas Lima Defends his Bellator Welterweight Title Against Rory MacDonald at the Forum on 1/20

LOS ANGELES – One year removed from its previous event at...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Comics on the Can – Double Dragon

Comics on the can Double Dragon Writer – Dwayne McDuffie Pencils...

CULTURAL JUNK DRAWER SDCC 2017 86.3% TRUE RECAP!

A totally true recap of the most important geek cultural even...

Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Event News Event Reviews
Yu-Gi-Oh! at New York Comic Con
Konami Showcases Yu-Gi-Oh! at New York Comic Con

It’s time to duel! Konami Digital Entertainment showcases Yu-Gi-Oh! at New...

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Is Coming to Europe and North America 2018

LOS ANGELES (September 26, 2017) – The critically acclaimed Game of Thrones® Live...

The Third Annual ‘BeerX’ from 91X in San Diego Featured Sunburns and Beer Goggles

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...