Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (2006)
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 11
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 4
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Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 270
The seminal, early 20th century case that inspired Freud, Jung, and Lacan is fictionalized in director Julian P. Hobbs' fragmented account of one distinguished German judge's descent into schizophrenic madness and eventual incarceration in an insane asylum. Married at the turn of the century and subsequently appointed a high judge, Daniel Paul Schreber would later suffer through multiple failed pregnancies alongside his wife (Lara Milian), attempt to navigate a particularly rocky relationship
Nov 1, 2005 Wide
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Memoirs of My Nervous Illness is an accomplished and stylistically audacious effort that all too accurately conveys the confusion and mental disarray of its subject's illness, ultimately to its detriment.
Director-writer Hobbs, making his feature debut, walks the lip of the campy abyss in this deliberately theatrical rendering of the disturbed mind.
The psychobabble makes for dry filmmaking until [subject Daniel Paul] Schreber starts going fem. From that point on, it's every man for himself.
[Jefferson] Mays throws himself into the role of a man who attempts to transform into a woman, but his efforts feel like futile flailings: The actor -- and his character -- are so much bigger than any story we're allowed to see.
The American actor Jefferson Mays is back in rouge and petticoats for Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, a punctilious account of madness and womb envy.
Hobbs' inspired feature sticks close to real-life texts, retaining Schreber's disconcerting mix of Teutonic clarity and schizophrenic imaginings.
Under the welter of all this heavy aestheticism, some of the performers are somewhat stymied, but thankfully not Mays.
Hayes' remarkable portrayal calls forth the madman from the text and, eventually, the human being from the madman.
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