This Season’s Top Picks!

This season’s Top Picks that portray mental health issues with compassion and accuracy.  The following are endorsed by Julie Ridge, LCSW-R, President and Founder. (last updated: May 2023)

BEST MOVIES of 2022-23

  • The Year of the Dog, directed and starring Robert Grabow, 2023.  A compassionate depiction of addiction and recovery, and the power of connection.  A beautifully filmed and acted feature.  “The opposite of recovery isn’t sobriety, it’s connection.”
  • Broadway Rising, directed by Amy Rice, 2022.  The Broadway community is an eco-system and a perishable resource. When it shut down for 18 months, as it did during the COVID pandemic, multiple systems toppled.  Nearly 100,000 jobs and over $15 billion were lost, never to be recovered. This documentary covers the impact from shutdown on March 12, 2020 to reopening on September 12, 2021 – the heartbreak, losses, depression, and resilience.
  • All 34 movies – shorts and full-length, narratives and documentaries – that played in the always amazing 15th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival, April 27 – May 3, 2023.

BEST MOVIES of 2020-21

  • Four Good Days, 2021. Starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis, based on the Washington Post front-page story How’s Amanda?, written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eli Saslow. An intimate and at times heart-wrenching look at the opioid crisis.
  • Robin’s Wish, 2020. Starring Susan Schneider Williams. An intimate portrait of Robin Williams and his end of life struggle with Lewy Body Dementia.
  • The Weight of Gold, 2020.  HBO Sports Documentary. In the age of Simone Biles and Michael Phelps, this doc explores the mental health challenges Olympic and elite athletes face. The Weight of Gold came during the postponement of an Olympic Games in Tokyo, due to Covid-19.
  • The Honey Boy is a daring feature, starring Lucas Hedges, Shia LaBeouf, and Noah Jupe, produced by Shia LaBeouf.  Honey Boy is the autobiographical story about LaBeouf’s childhood and troubling yet loving relationship with his father.  LaBeouf portrays his father.  Finding accurate and responsible movies about addiction is difficult – this film explores heritability, addictions connection with childhood trauma, and the lifetime struggle involved in staying clean and sober.

Best Television in 2020-21:

  • As We See It. An Amazon Prime mini-series, 2022. Most autistic characters have been played onscreen by neurotypical actors. This new series bucks the trend, starring three leads who are on the spectrum. A compassionate, funny, warm and entertaining of autism all grown up.  Starring Sue Ann Pien, Albert Rutecki, and Rick Glassman.
  • I know this Much is True.  Mark Ruffalo plays twin brothers, one with chronic schizophrenia, the other trying to reclaim his life. Ruffalo won an Emmy for this remarkable and stirring performance.
  • The Queen’s Gambit. You don’t have to play Chess to fall in love with this Netflix series, laden with addiction and trauma, and thirst to be the best in the world.

Ongoing best website: The Treatment Advocacy Center, founded by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, one of the world’s foremost research psychiatrists, specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His web site provides a plethora of global information and resources on all mental health conditions.