THE OSCAR GOES TO . . . ?
Borderlines in Film and Television
This page is
dedicated to the marvelous ability that art has for imitating
life, and teaching us more (specifically) about Borderline Personality
Disorder. Some of these examples may replicate what you've already
read in my various articles
or forums--but omitting them (here) didn't seem a favorable option.
If you're struggling in a relationship with someone who's borderline
disordered, re-viewing these movies or TV programs and seeing them
through a BPD lens, may help you get a better handle on
your current situation, and that's really the point of
loves me, she loves me not>>>
Karenina. You can't get more BPD than that.
I think Lena
Dunham (HBO's Girls) is brilliant~ but frankly,
Hanna's character has gone a bit too dark for me. Okay, so she's
a Borderline who dumps her bf Adam (played by the marvelous Adam
Driver) when he finally attaches, but piercing her eardrum with
a Q-tip, and then intentionally diving-in after the other
one, was over the top~ even for a girl with Obsessive-Compulsive
Disorder. I deal with BPD triage care all day long in my practice,
so maybe that's why this show has lost its entertainment value and
just feels like 'more work.' I wanna relax on my time off,
and this series ain't gettin it done for me no mo.
series) cannot be overlooked, in context of it's characters with
BPD. Livia (Anthony's mother) is as classic an example of a BPD
Waif/Witch as we'll ever see. When confronted with anything real
or true, she waves away the comment, or cries and plays the "poor
abandoned me" card~ yet this is a woman who sanctioned her
own son's execution! His sister Janice rides on that same train,
as she'd relish having him out of the way, in reference to their
mother's estate. Tony's extramarital lovers have BPD features as
well, of course. I'm having such a good time watching the reruns,
and watching the well-meaning but deeply flawed Dr. Melfi, is like
catnip for this kitty.
Cry of the Owl (2009)
is the story of a man being divorced by a really twisted a Borderline,
and we come to discover he's had a mental breakdown due to that
relationship. Simultaneously, he reluctantly accepts the tenacious
advances of yet another one! Julia Styles (Jenny) stalks Robert
(Paddy Considine) until he relents, and allows her to share his
bed. Jenny's ex-boyfriend (also psychotic) tries to kill him, and
a seemingly endless series of harrowing experiences befall poor
Robert. The moral of this story? Stear clear of sexually aggressive
our opportunity to observe a young borderline female who struggles
with depression, and we can see the parental influences of how she
acquired it. Christina Ricci couldn't have portrayed this (true)
story of a Borderline's inner pain and chaos more perfectly. This
movie was based on the book, Prozac Nation written by Elizabeth
Wurtzel. I'd always thought it was an expose on the drug Prozac,
so I was never inclined to read it. I could not have been more
wrong. This movie has a terrific cast, including Jessica Lang
as Lizzie's affectionate yet self-absorbed, controlling, guilting,
narcissistic mother. Michelle Williams is her best friend (for awhile)
and Jason Biggs is her boyfriend (whom she initially views as her
savior). Anne Heche is the shrink in this flick, who eventually
gets Lizzie stabilized enough (on meds), to make use of her therapy.
Really excellent film~ especially for those of you who grew up trying
to love and trust your narcissistic parents.
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) starring Jim Carrey
should definitely not be billed as a 'comedy,'
but you've gotta watch it twice in a row to appreciate it, and grasp
its meaning. The theme song by Beck (Everybody's Got To Learn Sometimes)
was an ironic choice for this flick, because its characters don't
learn a darned thing from their catastrophic romantic entanglement
which replays over and over, like a broken record. Kate Winslet
is Clementine~ a quirky, quintessential Borderline who changes her
hair color as often as her panties. She warns Joel (Carrey) that
she's a fucked-up vindictive bitch, and with the exception of one
moment of self-preservation and clarity, he goes for it anyway.
Why? His intra-psychic world is joyless/colorless and empty (sound
familiar?). Early in the script, his inner narrative asks, "why
do I fall in love with every woman who gives me the least bit of
attention?" We learn that he's dumped an ex live-in girlfriend
Naomi (after meeting Clem, of course) whom he retrospectively realizes
loved him~ presumably because she wasn't unpredictable
and pain-inducing enough to make him feel alive.
Each time Joel falls for Clementine, Tangerine, or whatever moniker
she's adopted for the moment, it's symbolic of an insecure man's
desperate quest for validation, and unending addiction to choosing
virtually the same female (albeit in different packaging) every
time he gets involved. We're made aware of this deja-vu aspect in
Joel's orbit, and while this movie hints at childhood struggles,
it misses the mark in context of his obsession
with Clementine. You'll very likely relate to this film, if you're
still licking your wounds from the last BPD gal who turned your
universe upside-down, because it's eerily accurate.
Bad on television's AMC network just has to be mentioned
here. I'd begun following the series rather late in the game, so
I've relished catching up with reruns of early episodes prior to
this season's opener (7/15/12). What I missed in the later
shows I'd seen, was the depth of Walter White's pathology. There's
so much I want to say about this bright, highly manipulative character~
but for the sake of brevity, he's a rageful, impulsive, egomaniacal
Borderline ("nobody can reproduce my meth formula"),
who's a pathological liar and murderer. Deliberately letting Jesse's
girlfriend choke to death on her vomit served his selfish agenda,
but his narcissistic myopia caused the demise of numerous others.
While we see Walt's transcient struggle with guilt/remorse,
he defends against these feelings by minimizing the tragedies he's
catalyzed with his 'glass half-full' rationale to a high school
audience, that makes you wanna throttle him! Yes, he's (intermittently)
a great guy and 'Super Dad,' but that mask erodes when he plies
his sixteen year old son with tequila, during a celebratory party
for Walt's cancerous tumor remitting (many Borderlines have trouble
with good feelings, success and victories, which interfere with
their death wish). The entire cast of this incredible show does
a spectacular job, and the writing is stellar. My favorite
character is Jesse Pinkman, brilliantly played by Aaron Paul~ but
major kudos to Bryan Cranston and the rest of the gang, for giving
us the best TV ever! Find a way to start watching
it from season one.
a stellar picture of an alcoholic borderline disordered middle-aged,
male photographer ('Connie,' played by Stephen Rea) who seduces
insecure young women by whisking them off their feet with lavish
praise and attention. Waif-like Harper (Sarah Polley) is captivated
by his charms, but too naive to see the forest for the trees, which
lands her in the Caregiver role for this aging lothario. Jean Smart
is Harper's mother, who verbally decimates Connie during a surprise
visit to her daughter. She's a super-cunt and we feel sorry for
him, until BPD Mom leaves--but it soon becomes clear that poor Harper
has fallen in love with a male prototype of her mother (gee, what
a surprise). There have been half a dozen other 'Guineveres' before
Harper, of course. Each desperate to be loved by a man who's incapable
of loving, and whose ego feeds off the 'awe' he can inspire in females
too young (and damaged) to know better.
takes us on a perilous journey with Dean and Cindy (Ryan Gosling
and Michelle Williams) that vacillates between perfect love and
the kind of torment, confusion and frustration you may have felt
during your dance with a male
Borderline. Cindy's got a rageful, abusive father and passive/victim
mother, and guess who she emulates? The lesser of two evils, of
course. She walks on eggshells with Dean, and just can't seem to
talk to hubby without triggering his crazy-making projections. The
emotional peaks and valleys in this (painfully slow) depressing
movie, made me wanna put a gun to my head by the time it finished.
You'll need lotsa popcorn just to raise your serotonin levels, if
you're gonna hang in there to the bitter end.
a quirky little movie about a man-child with BPD features played
by Jonah Hill. His enmeshed mom (Marisa Tomei) has raised a boy
with an obvious eating disorder (he's a moose), whose only way of
finding any autonomy with Mommy is calling her by her first name
("Molly"). Cyrus recognizes that he's deeply disturbed
and dysfunctional. He lies, he's manipulative, and has no intention
of launching into adulthood. We get the sense that Cyrus keeps Molly
to himself by frustrating/baffling her suitors, until John C. Reilly's
character shows up, and has enough sense of Self to confront this
behemoth of a kid, despite his own struggle with depression, remorse
and concerns about the imminent remarriage of his ex-wife. I didn't
buy the ending, but hey--that's Hollywood.
of a Tired Black Man is
a must-see if you're a hen-pecked,
brow-beaten male of any race--but this film spectacularly
portrays the hatred and rage that black women act-out toward men,
and this issue appears to be handed down/perpetuated generation
to generation. I felt there was a bit of misinformation in the film,
as these gals believe that fathers
are responsible for their attititude, but children learn from example,
and emulate what they see and hear growing up--they also treat others
how they were treated as kids! So what does it mean, if
these so-called "strong women" were raised solely
by their mothers?? It means they're taught to hate men
by scared, angry single women who mask their insecurity,
mistrust and fear with false bravado--and haven't the slightest
clue about how to love.
(2011, and in theaters now) is one I really wanted to like,
but it left me flat. Unless you're not getting enough porn online
and you're starving for lots of tits and ass, this film's a disappointing
choice. The story's thin, and the first half plods painfully along
despite abundant nudity, which seems gratuitous throughout the nearly
two hours you're trying to stay awake. Every glorious inch of Michael
Fassbender (Brandon) is utterly gorgeous, but not even his magnificent
frame and stallion ganglion can save this film. Carey Mulligan plays
Brandon's waif-like sister who's a cutter. Her lack of boundaries
and impulse control make for tense sibling rivalry. I was up for
an intelligent, probing (you should pardon the pun), reasonably
insightful look at sex
addiction, but this one misses the mark.
With Marilyn (in
theaters now; 12/2011) is the factual story of a young man's brief
opportunity to meet, fall in love with and attempt to rescue a waif-like
Marilyn Monroe. It's a movie within a movie, starring Michelle Williams
(Brokeback Mountain) and Kenneth Branagh, and the period detail
(mid-1950's) is seamless. Eddie Redmayne's Colin Clark is determined
to work in the film industry, despite presumptions by his parents
that he'll fail. He's never gotten their approval, so his
need to be perfect in others eyes is entrenched, and so is his Hero
Complex. We get to see how talented Marilyn was at seducing, but
how pitifully lacking this drug addicted actor (enabled by people
whose livelihoods depended on keeping her upright) really was. Good
shows us how easy it is to fall for a borderline disordered male.
Peter Sarsgaard's character, David takes up with a 16 year old girl
named Jenny (Carey Mulligan), and sweeps her and
her parents off their feet. Despite Jenny's innate wisdom and
maturity (which helps us see her as more adult than her parents
and new suitor), she's flattered by David's attention and the exciting
world he opens up for her. He's impulsive, but delightfully charming
and charismatic--and his lies and deceit give us windows into his
lack of character. It's hard to describe this movie without spoiling
the storyline for you, but pay close attention to how he seduces
Jenny's parents into liking him, and allowing their adolescent daughter
to share company with a pedophile. As we become aware of David's
premature ejaculation issue, it further explains why he preys on
naive, sexually inexperienced females.
To Treat A Lady (1968)
stars George Segal, Rod Steiger and Lee Remick, and if you wanna
see the BPD seduction phase in full throttle, watch Remick's 'Kate'
sweep poor little (henpecked by his crazy Jewish mother)
Morris (Segal) off his insecure little feet. He's a detective trying
to catch a serial killer who grew up with an abusive mom, similar
to his own (a delicious irony, as one brow-beaten son becomes a
sociopath, and the other a shy cop). Mo's a walking target for borderline
disordered Kate who instantly wins over his mother when they meet,
by echoing her sentiments about her 'loser' son. Even though
Kate's a shiksa (a gentile female) Mo's mother (played splendidly
by Eileen Heckhart) is totally enraptured with her son's new girlfriend.
Why not? They're cut from the same cloth! If nothing else, this
movie is a how-to manual on how raise a son who'll be highly
susceptible to falling for a Borderline.
of Evidence (circa
1993) has an accused murderer (played by Madonna), seducing her
defense attorney, Willem Defoe. A tension filled, erotic romp you
won't at all mind watching (I always liked Madonna's acting
more than her singing--but hey, that's what makes the world go-round).
Real L-Word on
Showtime takes us into the world of lesbian
love, but it's rife with BPD acting-out behaviors, to the extent
it's almost comical in its utter predictability. Most of these lovely,
watchable females give us stellar opportunities to observe high-drama
and chaos playing out within their romantic attachments and friendships--yet
they remain pitifully confused about why they compulsively sabotage
relationships that have any chance of flourishing.
fact-based, 2007 psychodrama starring Julianne Moore and Stephen
Dillane. She's an adulterous wife, and enmeshed/incestuous Borderline
mother, who crosses more boundaries than you can comfortably fathom.
This film is pretty raw, and at times disturbing. While viewing,
I kept thinking of Anna Nicole Smith and her son--but that's purely
speculation on my part. Still, it's an issue I've remained curious
about since his death, and of course, hers.
us a Borderline in the making. Natalie Portman (whom I've loved
since seeing her in The Professional) offers a stellar
performance as a young ballerina who needs to be perfect
for "Mommy." Barbara Hershey plays an enmeshed
mother, whose cloying, suffocating relationship with her daughter
prevents her from growing up (or away from her), and makes us squirm.
Poor Nina (Portman) is virtually imprisoned by her mom's volatility,
hyper-vigilant control and martyr-like
behaviors (God forbid you make her cry), which are all cloaked in
syrupy attention/affection. Nina is dissociated from her feelings
to the extent that her self-mutilation (voracious shoulder scratching)
is totally outside any conscious awareness. To say the least, she's
conflicted, completely split-off from her darker personality aspects
(which emerge only in dreams or fantasy sequences), and devoid of
any healthy sense of Self. A disturbing, creepy thriller--if
you like that sort of film genre. As for me, I'd have rather waited
for it on cable.
have made it to this page long ago--but hey, I've been busy patching
up the wounded. Kate Winslet plays the idealistic and dissatisfied
April, whose big dreams run interference with the inescapable suburban
family life that insidiously erodes her hope for a brighter future.
You'll wanna hold your head, while watching the fights she picks
with husband Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio), especially when you start
getting the sense that this couple's only way of connecting, is
by doing battle (well, except for the sumptuous breakfast she prepares
for him the morning after a huge blow-out--acting as though all
is peachy in their marital relationship, and giving him a long-awaited
sense that they might make it together afterall). April's
lack of boundaries and impulse control have her acting-out in ways
that jeopardize her marriage--and even her life. Great supporting
role by Kathy Bates.
PRAY LOVE is
a film I had the good sense not to see
in a theater when it was released. I think Julia Roberts (as Liz)
was perfectly type-cast for this movie, as she consistently snags
roles that have her getting close--but not too close to
her male leads. She appears to be a method actor with a whole lot
of expertise in this particular arena (and art often imitates life).
Anyhow, Liz's inner turmoil and ongoing discontent with her existence
(no matter whom she's sleeping with) has her fleeing even the most
loving relationships--and all that pasta, praying and fucking doesn't
come anywhere close to filling her inner
void. Even the ending pissed me off--because after
all her soul-searching, she still can't figure out how to hold onto
herself, while holding tight to another (which shows us she's right
back at square one, and this entire journey was a bloody waste of
time and celluloid)! The single redeeming feature of this
movie was I got to see the incredibly yummy Javier Bardem,
but this prize wasn't worth the price I paid--even on cable.
HBO has one of the greatest ensemble casts I've ever seen. The acting
on this show is unmatched--well, except perhaps for The Sopranos,
which was another of my personal fav's. Nicolette
(Chloe Sevigny) masterfully plays the family's resident Borderline--but
what could you expect with a brother like Alby, and parents like
the Grants?? She's cunning, hypocritical, lying and controlling,
yet "so terribly hurt" when anyone challenges her. Honestly,
I feel like I wanna strangle that character way too often!
I thought that Alby was finally going to put her out of
my misery on this week's episode (3/12/11), before the
final season's episode on the 20th--but no such luck. Damn! So near,
and yet so far. Special nods to the entire cast, especially
Jeanne Triplehorn (Barb), Ginnifer Goodwin (Margene) and Bill
Paxton (Bill Henrickson) whose character's blatant narcissism
persistently drives both the man who's principled with higher purpose,
and the guy whose myopic, self-sabotaging grandiosity will surely
bring about his ruination. I don't know about you, but I'm gonna
miss that show.
for the earlier name goof on the entry above; you can see
Bill Pullman in a well written suspense
thriller called The Guilty. He's an unethical,
inhumane, nasty lawyer (yes, Virginia--there are honest,
good ones out there too) who tangles himself up in an intricate
plot of deceit and murder, to save his suddenly at-risk career.
Definitely worth watching!*
stars Angelina Jolie and Antonio Bandaris. He's expecting a virtuous
mail-order bride, and ends up with a Borderline instead. Lots of
intrigue--and that familiar refrain, "I know she's bad
for me, but I want her anyway" keeps smacking you in the
face throughout this film, right up to its improbable conclusion.
Look for Thomas Jane (of Hung), as he's barely recognizable in this
James Spader (a fabulous, versatile talent) and the lovely Madchen
Amick as the waif-like glamour girl who sweeps him off his feet,
despite his early sense that she's trouble with a capital
T. Every time I see this movie, I like it better than the last time.
Spader's character is drawn into a labyrinth of deceit, doubt and
emotional torment. His gorgeous borderline wife pushes and prods
him, until he lashes out in defense. We get to see what can happen,
when we disregard our instincts and intuitions. This film's ending
is totally addictive for me. Just can't get enough of it. Are you
paying close attention to the former Mrs. Donald Draper? I noticed
that 'Betty' had ice-Queen features from the very start of this
AMC series, but Her Highness has been showing us just how much Witch
resides inside that lovely, but frigid exterior; God, what an evil,
mean mommy! Jon Hamm (Draper) is one of the yummiest men
on television. His character epitomizes the guy you hate to love.
an absolutely great example of BPD in someone's personality, in
this intriguing film that stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. A
tense, espionage-type drama laced with highly romantic/sexual interludes,
Duplicity has you rooting for love to take hold--and feeling exasperated
when it doesn't (and if you've spent any time with a Borderline,
you know exactly what I mean). Just pay attention to the verbal
dynamic between these two, and you'll feel like you're watching
a rerun of your own little BPD movie.
Sharon Stone as a divorcee who moves into a pricey highrise, only
to be stalked and seduced by William Baldwin's character, who has
zero sense of boundaries. He's much too free with his "I
love you's" before the bed even gets cold, in-between lovers.
Here's a borderline guy with serious mother abandonment issues,
who's seeking her face in every woman he dates and beds.
Superb supporting role played by Tom Berenger, who keeps us guessing
about whether he's a good guy or bad one, right up until the film's
ABC isn't a show I watch--but my gal-pal who loves reality television
described an incident (that aired on July 5, 2010) with a candidate
who seems to perfectly fit the classic Borderline
criteria. She's shaming, blaming, castrating, victim-like,
and comes as close to showing us BPD drama playing
out, as you're ever gonna see on TV. It appears that Pilot 'Jake'
dodged a bullet! (Who says, television isn't educational?!)
for you ladies out there, who want to get a real taste of what it's
like to be with the quintessential borderline-disordered male.
I'm not kidding. This is the most graphic portrayal of male
BPD I've ever seen, starring Jason Patrick and Samantha
Morton. She's a mousy, warm-hearted meter maid, and he's as rageful
and dysfunctonal a counterpart, as you could possibly envision.
Patrick's character so seamlessly shifts between kindness and cruelty,
a lot of you might find it too disturbing to watch, as you may have
dated a guy like this at one time or another. You'd think Cecilia
Miniucchi sure must have, in order to have written/directed this
story. A must see!
Accidental Tourist is
a marvelous movie that tells the story of Macon Leary, a middle-aged
travel writer, whose wife leaves him after the death of their young
son. William Hurt is superb as Macon, a robotic male we see going
through the motions of his dreary life, just trying to make it through
each day. Kathleen Turner plays Sarah, his ex--who never fails to
point out his shortcomings, even post-divorce; "you know, Macon,
the trouble with you is..." Geena Davis is Muriel, the quirky
gal with a little boy who brings Macon back from the dead--but not
without a struggle. This isn't really a film about Borderlines,
but my favorite line of all time, was when Macon says to his ex-wife,
who suddenly wants to revive their relationship (ahem);
"I'm beginning to think that maybe it's
not just how much you love someone. Maybe what
matters, is who you are when you're with them."
(How'd you feel about You, when you were with a borderline disordered
and Child is
a current (May, 2010) release, and it's fabulous. Just when I started
wondering "whatever happened to Jimmy Smits?" I saw this
film--and there he was! Stunning performances (also) by Annette
Bening, Naomi Watts, Samuel Jackson, and the entire supporting cast.
Even though I was squirming in my seat and (internally) shouting;
"Borderline!," I've hesitated to include it within this
BPD genre, because certain characters' outcomes are improbable/unlikely.
Still, I think the 'fallout' issue from adoption and natal
abandonment trauma is well conceived (you should pardon the
pun). Definitely worth the price of admission, but be prepared for
a dramatic ride. Rodrigo Garcia wrote/directed with the same superb
flair he's brought to HBO's In Treatment (see below).
Showtime. She lies, she's drug addicted, she triangulates her primary
relationship with an extramarital affair, manipulates her best friend,
and brings sheet cake home for her kids at dinnertime. Need I say
more? The splendidly talented Edie Falco does such justice to this
character, we can't help but adore Jackie and admire her professional
acumen--despite how badly she botches up her personal life.
is a simple, but sublime western that's rich with sexual
nuance, masculine loyalty, and a perfect little Borderline portrayed
by Renee Zellweger. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are superb
as lawmen who unwaveringly choose to go where most
men fear to tread. Ya gotta see this one--but watch it to the very
end, and listen to the lyrics in the song that's playing
while the credits are rolling!
Days of Summer is
a guy meets girl story, with some interesting twists and turns.
A client of mine said this film replicated his relationship experiences
with his last girlfriend, to the letter. Seemingly soft-peddled,
perhaps because its creator is still holding onto a glimmer of hope
that his Obsession
will one day return (aren't most men, who've been seduced by a Borderline?)
he dexterously weaves this yarn in such a way, that the love of
his life appears sane and whole at the end. Zooey Deschanel plays
the girl who doesn't believe in love throughout
this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the love-sick guy who apparently
doesn't want to accept that--or trust his instincts. Well written
by Scott Newstadter and Michael H. Weber, and great direction by
the (2009) story of a borderline disordered office temp, who wants
to be a permanent fixture at her job, and in her married boss's
life. Ali Larter (Lisa) is over the top (and borderline) as a gorgeous,
wacky gal who won't take 'no' for an answer, when her seduction
ploys fail miserably. Beyonce Knowles is the devoted wife, who's
too short on trust where her husband's concerned--in fact,
it seems her character's a bit off-center too! Handsome Idris Elba
plays the hounded husband who can't seem to shake off the insanely
stalking Lisa--or convince his wife that he's the victim
of sexual harassment.
a 1997 film I saw ages ago, and thought it was pretty terrific back
then (before I'd even heard of Borderlines). I was lucky
enough to catch it again on cable the other night, and view it through
different lenses so to speak. It's heavy, it's deep, and astute
in revealing what can come of a female who's been incested in childhood.
Terence Stamp is the sex therapist, 'Balthazar' who appears to have
a better sense of how to assist adult children of sexual abuse than
anyone else--although I wouldn't sanction his approach as prudent
or effective for healing BPD. Craig Sheffer and Sheryl Lee play
the newlyweds seeking couples therapy, during which it's revealed
that she's been "faking" her orgasms. Lance Young superbly
directed this intriguing movie.
just chock-full of Borderlines! Michelle Pfeiffer is a BPD mother
who gave birth way too young, resented having to care for
her baby (all too common, unfortunately), and treats men like they're
disposable. Alison Lohman wonderfully portrays the enmeshed daughter,
who steadily tries to surmount her mother's rejecting and engulfing
cycles and maintain her own emotional equilibrium. Robin Wright
is a seductive, jealous, borderline foster care mom who does more
harm than good for this poor gal who's just trying to find her footing.
Renee Zellweger is superb (as usual), but falls victim to a narcissistic
husband (Noah Wiley) with borderline traits. This is an intricate,
sophisticated film about stuggle, and the will to triumph and thrive--not
at Tiffany's circa 1961. Just saw it again after
more years than I want to admit to, and it takes the cake. Audrey
Hepburn's "Holly Golightly" is The Waif with a Queenly
twist. She uses men like facial tissues, changes her identity, acts
devastated one minute and jubilant the next, and is basically your
captivating, emotionally ambivalent, run of the mill Borderline
with serious attachment issues (poor kitty!). Truman Capote
really nailed BPD in this story, but had no clue as to what he was
actually portraying in this character--which is evident in the unrealistic
ending! Good film with George Peppard, and a great supporting cast
(look for Mickey Rooney).
Steve Buscemi (who also co-wrote and directed it) and Sienna Miller.
He's a serious journalist who's relegated to writing "fluff
pieces" for his magazine's editor--and he's hating every minute
of it. Miller's 'Katya' is a famous actress being interviewed by
Buscemi, who's convinced she's an airhead. The interview turns into
an all-night ordeal that takes us on a fantastic ride that may hit
a little too close to home for those of you who've tried
to keep your balance in one of these relationships. Katya is the
quintessential Borderline in this fascinating piece, and
she does it with such convincing aplomb, you start to wonder if
it's just another day in the life of this woman! Her character is
seductively bright, alluring and engaging, but replete with all
the lying and shape-shifting that typically comes with BPD terrain.
An intriguing power struggle ensues between these two, and you keep
wondering who will come out on top--but you just can't
stop watching. A tour de force in the acting department, to be sure--and
a lot of bad press when it opened. Folks unfairly boycotted it,
without ever seeing the movie. Ridiculous! I especially liked it
for its psychological underpinnings. Boxing Helena takes us on a
man's painfully obsessional journey with a provocative woman--and
cleverly reveals (early in the story) how and why he keeps heading
down this tunnel that has no cheese. Good little film with Sherilyn
Fenn (Helena), and Julian Sands as the love-sick surgeon. Jennifer
Lynch (David's daughter) directed, and I thought this was a great
Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone, is the exciting tale of a (Jewish)
casino owner, who's vastly successful in the early years of Las
Vegas, despite mob entanglements and an alluring, charismatic, seductive
Borderline (played by Stone). Her character, Ginger is
as close to textbook BPD as you can get, with the lies, betrayals,
drug/alcohol abuses, histrionics, attachment to a former love who's
a loser (James Woods)--and to top it all off, she's a lousy mother.
Joe Pesce plays a sociopath in his role, much like the loose cannon
he was in Goodfellas. Nobody does it better.
James Spader as a too good guy, who meets up with
Rob Lowe--a handsome, daring, charismatic, identity-shifting borderline
bad-boy, without boundaries or impulse control (what a surprise).
Naturally, Spader's character 'Michael' is initially intrigued and
seduced by the other's confidence and self-assurance, for these
qualities are so lacking in himself (sound familiar?). This sort
of attraction toward Borderlines is common. We're drawn to personality
aspects in them, that are missing
Last Seduction is
one of my favorites! Can't resist settling in (when I'm channel
surfing) and watching the rest, until it ends. Even the music
is hypnotic for me. Linda Fiorentino as the Borderline (probably
a Witch type) playing opposite the always brilliant Peter
Berg, and Bill Pullman as her husband. Delightful, diabolical and
definitely a divine romp!
Michael Caine, an aging author of detective novels, against Jude
Law, who's banging his (much younger) wife. Jude's character is
a hair dresser/wannabe actor who's cocky about his BPD seduction
skills--and uses them to play both sides against the middle, for
his own gain. Nasty.
us Maggie Gyllenhaal as the most adorable, affable Borderline of
all. She's addicted to physical pain (cutting/burning) to escape
her emotional anguish--and finds a man (James Spader) who's intrigued
with domination and supplying a bit of it, while she's under his
employ. This quirky little gem is one of my all-time favorites.
It perfectly balances its dramatic undertones with a smashing good
Cristina Barcelona has
cast, and I loved this movie! Javier Bardem is incredibly
sexy (if I were 25 years younger, he'd be in big trouble), and Scarlett
Johansson is terrific as Cristina, the girl who only knows what
she doesn't want--which is a love that's stable and lasting
(remind you of anyone you know?). Rebecca Hall is splendid as the
complex Vicky, who knows exactly what she wants--until
she lets her guard down with Bardem's Juan Antonio. Penelope Cruz
is gorgeous, but highly unstable as Maria Elena, the ex-wife of
Juan Antonio. She shows up out of the blue (as Borderlines do),
when a failed rebound romance prompts her near-fatal suicide attempt,
by overdose. And who's there to pick up the pieces, despite
his new love affair with Cristina? Yep, you guessed it--her reliable
rescuer, Juan Antonio! Cruz's character is bisexual,
which isn't all that unusual among Borderlines--but her pre-divorce
instability re-emerges, when there's only two, rather than three
players in this menage a trois. By the way, Cristina also
has borderline personality traits.
another film I just can't resist watching when it's on
cable. Intricate plot--a sort of Double Indemnity theme, with Kathleen
Turner (sizzling hot), William Hurt, Richard Crenna--and a delightfully
surprising role inhabited by Ted Danson. This one will keep you
guessing, and a bit confused--but you're probably used to that by
now. A must see.
is Bleeding with
the spectacular Lena Olin, as the most capricious, diabolical
and dangerous Borderline that's hit the screen in years. Whew! It's
another of my favorites, starring Gary Oldman--and it'll keep you
on the edge of your seat for the entire ride.
Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas. It was fraught with turbulence
and tension, and Stone's provocative performance amped up the volume
on this film's popularity--especially, her interrogation scene.
And talk about being on the edge of your seat... yowie!
an autobiographical account written by (adopted) daughter Christina--about
her mother, actress Joan Crawford. Crawford could be considered
a Borderline Witch/Queen, whose erratic, controlling and sadistic
behaviors tortured and tormented her children.
Michael Douglas as a narcissistic Borderline (is there any other
type?) who paints himself into a financial corner, and plots to
have his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) murdered, so he can inherit her
fortune. Viggo Mortensen is splendid as the talented artist who
preys on wealthy women, and has an illicit affair with Paltrow's
Kyra Sedgwick, as an emotionally incestuous, enmeshed
borderline mother, who cannot allow her son to separate/individuate
to form a healthy, autonomous sense of Self. This is a brilliant
performance that may teach you a lot about enmeshment and codependency
issues. Recently ran into Ms. Sedgwick; she's extremely gracious--and
utterly stunning. A total beauty.
the (factual) story of two Borderlines who take up with each other,
and wreak havoc and destruction wherever they go. Salma Hayek is
superb as the damaged, incested young woman who's looking for love
in all the wrong places. Jared Leto plays the Casanova
whose seduction skills are trumped by an irresistible and
compelling Hayek. John Travolta and James Gandolfini are detectives,
in hot pursuit of this killing couple (pun intended).
released in 1944 (an oldie but goodie), and tells the story of a
male borderline who manipulates his wife (played by Ingrid Bergman)
into thinking she's going crazy. He dims the gaslights in their
house, and convinces her she's imagining it (hence the
title), along with a whole lot of other stuff he's conjured up to
undermine her sense of reality/sanity. 'Gaslighting' is a term that
describes the crazy-making interactions commonly used by Borderlines,
to make their partners think that they're the ones who
are going nuts! I happened on a site that illustrates this issue
extremely well--but mistakenly references this pathology as narcissistic,
rather than borderline disordered. Still, I think you'll benefit
borderline pathology exquisitely! We see Alex--a successful, seductive
businesswoman, played by Glenn Close--whom by the way, is cast (again)
as a diabolical Borderline in TV's FX series, Damages;
she's older now--but no less lethal. Anyway, Michael Douglas plays
a married man who's had a brief affair with Alex, and finds that
(true to borderline nature) she's the gum on his shoe,
he just can't shake off. Her lying, stalking, bunny boiling, murderous
rampages aren't unusual for someone diagnosable with Borderline
Personality Disorder. She slits her wrists, and even fakes a pregnancy
to entrap him!
The reality is, many of these women are inmates on death row
at various penitentiaries around the world. Excellent supporting
role by Anne Archer, as the betrayed wife.
us the more savage and brutal side of borderline pathology. It's
a superbly crafted film that stars Charlize Theron as a grimy, chunky
lesbian, who coerces men into paying her for sex--and then kills
them. Brave choice for Theron, who impeccably immerses herself in
a 1994 psychodrama starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Peter Gallagher.
She's an estranged wife who plots to sabotage her husband's plans
to remarry. Jamie's 'Jude' is a vengeful, psychotic Borderline who
will stop at nothing to derail her soon-to-be ex and his lover--regardless
of having abandoned her family a few years before! She
tries to recruit their twelve year old son to carry out her diabolical
plan to derail his father's new union, and destroy the woman he
loves. A must see!
HBO's fantastic series about a psychologist and his patients. We
get to be the proverbial fly on the wall during their sessions,
and I must say, this is the first series I've considered to be a
solid learning tool for psychotherapists. Poor Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel
Byrne) has more than his fair share of narcissistic and borderline
disordered patients in his practice, but he handles their acting-out
with extraordinary self-restraint, insight and care. Paul is brilliant
in treatment--but clueless about his own narcissism, and
interpersonal relationship issues that are prompted by his blind
spots (despite efforts by his therapist, Diane Wiest--who's
marvelous as 'Gina'). The second season features
talented Hope Davis as 'Mia' who crosses boundaries all over the
place, and continually goads the doctor into rejecting/abandoning
her, because while this is her deepest fear, if it's gonna happen,
she's got to be the one in
control of that pain! In the third season, Paul
has a new analyst 'Adele' (Amy Ryan) and we get to see how self-sabotaging
and resistant to treatment he really is. His lack of boundaries,
diminishing/idealizing behaviors, disordered thoughts and incongruent
verbal responses with his shrink, all suggest BPD
Showtime's sensational epic series. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is brilliant
as the so very borderline Henry VIII, but his second wife
Anne Boleyn gave him a real run for his money--a Borderline pas
for Visitors, and if you've been watching this series on ABC, you
might be thinking it comes awfully close to portraying the Borderline
archetype--and you'd be right! Beneath their seemingly
benevolent, humanesque forms, these gorgeous aliens are dangerous
reptiles. Anna (the Queen) is manipulative, cunning and devoid of
emotions, but that's typical of The V--even though they're incredibly
adept as mimicking human feelings and traits! In a recent
episode, one of the characters says; "that's what Anna does--she
takes our emotions, and uses 'em against us." Sound
familiar? Some sets are rich with vaginal imagery, and
I figure this stuff just has to be intentional; kudos to
the production designer. When Lisa lies to her Queen Mother about
failing to seduce Tyler into living aboard the V-ship, Anne whacks
her in the face, and orders both her legs to be broken, stating;
"there's no greater incentive for a human male,
than a damsel in distress." I was delighted with
reference--and nearly laughed myself off the bed.
just chock full of borderline acting-out. In my BPD
Forum, I speak to Izzie's wacky relationship antics, but I have
a new piece this season--and remember, you heard it here
first: Poor Owen, who's shell-shocked and suffering with PTSD (Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder) appears borderline disordered! Right from the start,
his come here/go
away (Dr. Jekyll - Mr. Hyde) behaviors with Cristina should
have been a big fat warning signal--but then, we'd be missing
out on all that drama to follow. Thank heavens she's finally waking
up--or more accurately, realizing that it's far too risky
There's more to come--so check back
now and then.