Sharp Objects Has One Of The Best Portrayal Of Alcoholism That I’ve Seen
You’ve probably heard of Sharp Objects. The latest mini-series that premiered last week on HBO.
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Amy Adams, Sharp Objects is a psychological thriller/misery series about the return of the crime reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) to hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, in order to investigate the murders of two young girls.
Camille is a troubled soul to say the least. She’s been previously treated for self-harm in a mental institution and is still haunted by the death of her younger sister. I can’t comment on the self-harm part (I’ve never been a cutter), but in my humble opinion, the miniseries has some of the best portrayal of alcoholism in recent times. And I have plenty of experience in that area.
Tell me. What comes to mind, when you think of an alcoholic character? And a female character of that? Meg Ryan jumping on a car in When A Man Loves A Woman? Ellen Pompeo holding a bottle of tequila for dear life in Grey’s Anatomy? Faye Dunaway in Barfly? Yeah… Pretty much. You know the cliché drunk that we see time and time again in almost every movie or TV series.
Not in Sharp Objects. Here in Sharp Objects we see that Camille is a functioning alcoholic. She’s capable of maintaining a job (not spectacularly per se but she’s still employed), and we’re yet to see her personal/social life in the upcoming episodes.
But you know what makes her a real life alcoholic, and a realistic one of that? Well, because she does most of her drinking alone. Just like any good alcoholic I know. You wanna know how I know that? Cause I was her. Much like Camille, I myself was an alcoholic for the better part of my 20’s.
And like her I hid small pocket size bottles of Vodka in my purse, along with Listerine, candy bars, gum and other first aid objects for any good alcoholic. Why pocket size bottles? Well, they’re convenient. They fit in your purse without being detected, and they’re easy to discard afterwards. They’re discreet. They’re almost stealth like. And as for the chewing gums, candies and Listerine… They’re intended to mask the stench that’s reeking from you esophagus, in case you were wondering. When she emptied out her bag I saw myself in that character. And it brought back some ugly memories. Do you want to know why Camille does that? You know… Why she drinks the bottles alone in her dark depressing room? Well, along with being an alcoholic comes a lot of shame and fear form judgment. And frankly who needs that? So…. The solitude is big part of being an alcoholic, as you can see in the first episode. Its fine at the beginning, but pathetic as time goes buy.
Another must have item in the alco starter-pack is a bottle of water. You have to keep yourself hydrated while you devour those bottles, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a state of pounding (and massive) headache the very next morning and very dry moouth. Oh and last but not least… Sleeping in your car after a heavy night of drinking? Yeah, that’s accurate too. You can find yourself being able to sleep anywhere and in any position, just like that. With no objections from your body (at least till the very next morning) or your mind.
In conclusion Sharp Objects is a good mini-series. A slow-burner of a series that is shrouded in misery and elevated by the great acting of Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. It’s worth the watch. And for the ex alcies like me… it’s a bad reminder of a past dark times, but at the same time it has one of the best portrayals of alcoholics/alcoholism in recent times.