Addiction and Recovery Movies

Thanks to LadyHaggisMcBaggis for triggering this idea! 🙂

So if you’ve read lots of sober blogs and read lots of addiction and recovery books you might be looking for a way to support your recovery in a more visual way.  As you would suspect there are many films out there to cater for your needs.  I’m going to focus on films about alcohol addiction and recovery predominantly but equally there are many films about drug addiction and recovery too.

There are so many I’m going to order them chronologically from newest first then you can chose according to age and generational appeal.

A Royal Hangover (2014) the UK documentary feature film has now been released and is available on iTunes here.  It will be available on Amazon on Demand and Google Play in the future and I will update links as it becomes available.  If you would like to read my review you can do so here.  This is a MUST SEE film.

The Anonymous People (2014) launched earlier this year and a must see documentary film in my opinion

Home Run (2013) Story of pro-baseball player who enters recovery following alcohol addiction

Blue Jasmine (2013) – although not about addiction per se her Stoly vodka is never far from her side in this Woody Allen Oscar winning film

Lipstick and Liquor (2012) which I covered in an earlier post and watched earlier this year.  Includes the founder of Sober is Sexy.

Smashed (2012) starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul.  A young teachers battle with addiction.

Flight (2012) with Denzel Washington where he plays a pilot who is an alcoholic

Young Adult (2011) starring Charlize Theron where booze plays a large part in her life’s woes

Everything Must Go (2010) Will Ferrell comedy drama about an alcoholic and based on the Raymond Carver short story ‘Why Don’t You Dance?’

Crazy Heart (2009) I saw this recently and really enjoyed it.  Gotta love me a bit of Jeff Bridges (the Dude) and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Factotum (2005) Tom Hanks as an alcoholic and writer.

28 days (2000) watched this recently and this is what started the post idea.  Really enjoyed and had a good old howl.

Smoke Signals (1998) Victor and Thomas are brought together through Victor’s father, Arnold.   Arnold rescued Thomas as an infant from a house fire that killed his parents. Because of this, Thomas considers him a hero. On the other hand, Victor, who endures Arnold’s alcoholism, domestic violence and eventual child abandonment, regards his father with both deep love and bitter resentment.

Drunks (1995) Film that portrays an AA meeting and follows the troubled time of one member who leaves and relapses.  Stellar cast including Faye Dunaway, Dianne Wiest and Calista Flockhart.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995) This film is etched on my brain following seeing it.  Nicholas Cage is just superb as the suicidal alcoholic.  It won him an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his performance.

When A Man Loves a Woman (1994).  I watched this one at the time and is one of the most well known for me.  Probably as it starred Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia who I love.

My Name is Bill W (1989)  It received a huge number of nominations for Emmy’s and Golden Globes and James Wood won the Outstanding Actor award at the Emmy’s.

Clean and Sober (1988) Michael Keaton as a cocaine addicted alcoholic who goes into rehab

Barfly (1987) Again I watched this at the time as I loved Mickey Rourke back in the day.

Shattered Spirits (1986) Martin Sheen as an alcoholic father and the impact on his family

Under the Volcano (1984) Written by Malcolm Lowry and believed to be autobiographical.  The film tells the story of Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic former British Consul in the small Mexican town of Quauhnahuac (recognizably Cuernavaca) on the Day of the Dead in 1938.

Tender Mercies (1983) Robert Duvall stars as a a recovering alcoholic country music singer who seeks to turn his life around through his relationship with a young widow and her son

The Rose (1979) Bette Midler playing Rose an insecure alcoholic and former drug user who seems to crave approval in her life and who is a famous rock’n’roll diva.

The Cracker Factory (1977) Natalie Wood plays alcoholic housewife Cassie Barrett is institutionalized in a psychiatric ward after experiencing a nervous breakdown in the supermarket. We learn this is the latest in a series of hospitalizations from which Cassie emerges supposedly in control of her life but actually still teetering on the edge. During this latest stay, she develops a romantic crush on psychiatrist Edwin Alexander and a close relationship with night supervisor Tinkerbell, both of whom help her take steps toward facing her inner demons and learning to live with sobriety

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) Again received huge number of nominations for Oscar’s, Golden Globes and BAFTA’s at the time.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.  What’s not to like and remember watching this many many years ago.

I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955) Susan Haywood received an Oscar nomination for her role as Lillian Roth, a Broadway star who rebels against the pressure of her domineering mother and reacts to the death of her fiancé by becoming an alcoholic

The Lost Weekend (1945) Another film to receive and win many Oscars (nominated for 7, won 4)

Just a word of warning that some of these films may be quite triggery depending on where you are in your recovery journey so take care and proceed with caution.  Maybe start with one’s about recovery first and leave the still drinking dramas till the end when you are feeling stronger?  Just a suggestion 🙂

33 days to go

9 thoughts on “Addiction and Recovery Movies

  1. Smashed 2012….. My favourite alcoholic/ recovery movie. Found this one really close to my heart. Plus Aaron Paul is the long suffering boyfriend.
    When love is not enough (2010) Bill W’s wife lois’ story….. Liked this one better than my name is Bill W. Just 2 brilliant ones I thought others may benefit from xx

    1. Thanks Louise! Fantastic additions to the list and one’s I now need to watch 🙂 xx

  2. That’s a great list- I’ll have to check some of those out! I have watched a couple movies recently related to addiction and recovery- Flight (2012) with Denzel Washington, he is a pilot who is an alcoholic, and Thanks for Sharing (2012), which has Mark Ruffalo in it and is interestingly about sex addiction and the 12 step program.

    1. Hi clearlee Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog 🙂 Thanks also for 2 more films to add to the list! Have now watched the two that Louise recommended and will now be scouring the internet for these 😉

  3. Great list Lucy, thankyou. Seen quite a few of these but some new ones too xxx

  4. Great list… The link is being reposted by members at Living Sober! Might check some out myself… Xxxx

    1. Thanks and great stuff Mrs D 🙂 xx PS By all means pin it in a more prominent place on Living Sober if you would like – maybe under reading material? xx

      1. Just thought of 2 more films to add to the list: Blue Jasmine (2013) – although not about addiction per se her Stoly vodka is never far from her side in this Woody Allen Oscar winning film. Also Young Adult (2011) starring Charlize Theron where booze plays a large part in her life’s woes also.

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