6.2/10
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Mental (2012)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 29 March 2013 (USA)
Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
A charismatic, crazy hothead transforms a family's life when she becomes the nanny of five girls whose mother has cracked from her husband's political ambitions and his infidelity.

Director:

P.J. Hogan

Writer:

P.J. Hogan
1 win & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Gibney ... Shirley
Hayley Magnus ... Donna
Nicole Freeman Nicole Freeman ... Leanne
Chelsea Bennett ... Kayleen
Bethany Whitmore ... Jane
Lily Sullivan ... Coral
Holly Buchanan Holly Buchanan ... Coral - 13yo
Malorie O'Neill ... Michelle
Kerry Fox ... Nancy
Sam Clark ... Trout
Amanda Woodhams Amanda Woodhams ... Manda
Natasha Bassett ... Kay
Liev Schreiber ... Trevor
Caroline Goodall ... Doris
Austin Caffin Austin Caffin ... Faceless Figure
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Storyline

The Moochmore girls are certain they all suffer from some kind of undiagnosed mental illness - because if they're not crazy then they're just unpopular. Their mother Shirley - unable to cope with her demanding daughters and unsupported by her philandering politician husband, Barry - suffers a nervous breakdown. After Barry commits his wife to a mental hospital (telling his constituents that "she's on holiday") he finds himself alone with 5 teenage girls he barely knows. Desperate, he impulsively picks up a hitchhiker named Shaz and installs her in his home as nanny to his daughters. Written by Caitlin Rose

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A New Kind of Nanny is Coming to Town.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mental See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,804, 31 March 2013

Gross USA:

$17,669

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,446,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview on Australian television, P.J. Hogan said that Mental is autobiographical, that his own father had his wife committed, hired a hitchhiker to babysit his children - he trusted her because she had a dog - and later found out that she was an escapee. See more »

Goofs

When Trevor visits the Moochmores and drinks his beer at the table, the level in the mug changes up and down with each shot. See more »

Quotes

Shaz: And she's very, very sorry.
Doris: I'm very, very sorry.
Shirley Moochmore: For what?
Shaz: For being a cunt.
[the others gasp]
Shaz: You are a cunt. You are the cuntiest cunt of all time. Admit your cunthood. It's an irrefutable fact, like gravity.
Shirley Moochmore: Oh please don't make her say that.
Shaz: Oh, all right, she's sorry for not being a very good sister.
Shirley Moochmore: I'm sorry too.
See more »

Connections

References The Sound of Music (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Comes Up
Written by Tobias Priddle (as Priddle)/ Josie De Sousa-Reay (as De Sousa-Reay)/ Palmer/ Tonuma
(Native Tongue Music Publishing/Musheoom Music/Control)
Performed by Boy in A Box
Licensed courtesy of Boy in a Box
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Serious fun
14 October 2012 | by kcd1961See all my reviews

I love psychodramas, so the chance to see Toni Collette in a film touching on mental illness was too good to miss. I was stunned to hear that the underlying story of this movie is true! Some reviewers have labeled the plot as complicated and bumpy - and it is - sort of like real life. However the plot is less important than the characters and the underlying themes. The cast is superb, particularly Collette, Gibney and newcomer Lily Sullivan as the eldest daughter. The characters are rich and complex, except for the father (played well by LaPaglia) who is a bit too one dimensional. I preferred the way The United States of Tara handled the issue of being partner to someone with severe mental illness.

However it is the underlying issue of the way mental illness, normality and conformity are experienced and perceived in our society that shines. JP Hogan does not preach or present a one-sided view - rather we see normality as complex and nuanced. Collette plays the deeply flawed yet strangely inspirational Shaz who serves to provoke, challenge and sometimes overturn the other characters' views of normal. Modern psychiatry is neither approved nor mocked. The "normal" characters are revealed as sometimes shallow and fragile - not as normal as they seem.

The comedy ranges from subtle, to ocker, to cartoonish and melodramatic. Not everyone will like it. Some scenes are just plain absurdist.

I suspect that like Muriel, this is a multi-layered film that will actually stand up to repeated viewing. As for the tag line - well it's going to be hard not to laugh whenever my friends talk of "going to Wollongong" - and I can say that because it's where I live.


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