The act of going out there as an unknown and coming back a star is the time-honored showbiz fantasy, and if there's any justice that's about to come true for Mary Elizabeth Winstead on the basis of "Smashed."
Addiction dramas are as common as reality shows and often just as rank. Smashed joins the ranks of the winners, mostly because of an unmissable and unforgettable performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The bottom isn't low enough, the struggle isn't difficult enough, and the characters (especially the supporting ones) don't feel developed enough to provide necessary context for our heroine's journey.
What's new about this affecting, unsensationalized portrait of addiction, recovery, codependence, setbacks, one-day-at-a-time progress, and their effects on relationships, is the low-keyed energy of the storytelling.