Daily News from New York, New York on December 21, 1999 · 52
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Daily News from New York, New York · 52

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 21, 1999
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CM in (D r LT LTD (Q) t . in 3 UJ z cr en 1) .O E V. J ' .. V. ' , V W ,y - If I Ryder & Angelina Jolie get caught up in a catfight in James Mangold's "Girl, Interrupted." 'Girl' - it's one long interruption GIRL. INTERRUPTED. With Winona Ryder. Angelina Jolie, Vanessa Redgrave, Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by James Mangold. Running time: 127 minutes. Rated R: Sex, drugs, self-mutilation, a suicide. At Sony Lincoln Square, Union Square 14. f Susanna is crazy, then she's in good company. In "Girl, Interrupted," based on Susanna Kaysen's memoir of her brief mental illness, Winona Ryder plays the title charac ter undergoing a rite of passage most females will recognize that confusion of hormones, rage, moping and self-doubt that is sometimes labeled certifiable but is otherwise known as being a teenager. The real Kaysen was hospitalized during the late 1960s, a time when society was changing its definition of normal and abnormal behavior. As played by Winona Ryder, Susanna seems like a morbidly, if poetically, self-involved girl in short, normal for her age. After a little incident with a bottle of aspirin, Susanna s clueless parents institutionalize her, just in case. The rest of the movie mostly takes place within the confines of the hospital, where Susanna tries to figure herself out. Or not. She is often just a crumpled, listless figure on a bed, which, while true to the nature of depression, is not, cinematically speaking, the most arresting image. The movie could have been called "Girl, Napping." Whoopi Goldberg and Vanessa Redgrave lend their credentials to supporting roles as nurse and therapist, respectively that verge on cameos. Ryder readily portrays that alarming mini-madness of youth, the kind that cries out for help but is skeptical of the life raft. Despite Ryder's best efforts, the movie belongs to Angelina Jolie as Lisa, a hyperkinetic sociopath, someone who truly needs help. Lisa is way out there, seductive, entertaining, threatening, living large. Next to Lisa, Susanna seems like a pouting, spoiled brat who could as easily have checked herself in to a spa as a loony bin. The movie is unusual in that it spotlights a common but largely unsung variety of teenage female angst. That, however, is offset by some standard-issue, us-against-them dynamics and an overall depression that can't be medicated away. JAM! BERNARD Will cable TVs Mob hit live up to its hype & hopes in 2nd season? By LEWIS BEALE Crtliy NEWS FEATURE WRITER nother year, another shakedown. I Tony Soprano and some of his 11 boys are camped out at a North fit Jersey sporting goods store whose owner is deeply in hock to the I I 1 Mob U I So Tony, Paulie Walnuts and Richie Aprile have set up shop in the store's office, where they're bullying the owner into using his lines of credit to order goods they intend to steal. And while the guys are thor oughly terrorizing the poor schnook, they're calling out for lunch. "Who ordered the meatball?" asks Paulie, one of Tony's tattooed lieutenants, as he dips into a freshly delivered box of deli sandwiches. Badda bing! Just another deliriously off-kilter moment from The Sopranos," the critically acclaimed HBO series that begins a new batch of 13 episodes on Jan. 16 (the series' first year will be repeated in its entirety from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2). The show, noted for its New Jersey verite, has been shooting in the area for the last several months. On this sunny, crisp day, the crew has taken over Ramsey Outdoor, a sporting- COVER i X J Q jff 'J Vincent Pastore prepares a scene. goods store in Paramus. Film trucks line this strip mall just off Route 17. Catering tables laden with sandwiches and sodas stand just outside the store, so as not to interfere with filming. As they take a break between shots, cast and crew seem thoroughly energized by the promise of a second season. "We don't have any pressure on us," claims Tony Sirico, who plays tough guy Paulie Walnuts, over the persistent hum of New Jersey traffic. "The first year, we had no idea the show would be so well received. This year it's the same team, and we're not thinking of any pressure. Any pressures are "all self-generated, but they're there," counters "Sopranos" creator and executive producer David Chase. "Because the show has so much good will, we wouldn't be human if we didn't want to pay off all that good will." That good will is considerable. When "The Sopranos" debuted last January, it received ecstatic reviews. The" series, which features a Mob boss (played by James Gandolfini) whose anxiety attacks lead him to seek help from a psychiatrist (Lorraine Bracco), was widely praised for its literate writing, fully fleshed-out characters and a sense of comic irony rarely seen on TV. In addition, its world-view a suburban New Jersey Mob boss coping with family life and business pressures was sometf dng rare in the annals of Mafia mythology. "It's a show about people's relationships, and it's very realistic," says Henry Bronchtein, a co-producer of the series, as he watches another take of Gandolfino and Sirico harassing the store owner, played by "Terminator 2" vil-lian Robert Patrick. "People respond to it and recognize it. And Tony, even though he's Mafia, men react to the stress and discontent of his life." "The Mafia thing has been done to death, but this show has something everyone can relate to," adds Tim Van Patten, who has directed three episodes of "The Sopranos," including a new one in which Tony and his boys go to Naples on business. "The family aspect of it draws people in. It demystifies the whole Mafia thing. We're not used to seeing the central figure in crisis, like Tony is. And that makes him likable even though he does these horrible things. You're drawn to him, and I they were left at the end of last season: Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) Mafia underboss for North Jersey, describes himself as a "waste management consultant." Doting father and cheating husband. Dizzy spells and other anxiety-related physical problems have led him to see a psychiatrist. At the end of last season Tony was taking over as Mob head after Uncle Junior went to jail; he discovered that his crazy mother, Livia, had put a contract out on him. IBue gang's all Dnere 1 1 ere are some of the key "Sopranos" characters and where 1 1

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