Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (2005)


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Movie Info

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 with his uncaring father (Joe Coleman), and suffer through woefully misguided care at the hands of questionably competent Dr. Emil Flechsig (Robert Cucuzza). Later imagining that he had been chosen by God to create a new race of man, Schreber's mental health quickly deteriorated into a cosmic paranoia highlighted by frighteningly vivid and unusually ordered hallucinations.


Critic Reviews for Memoirs of My Nervous Illness

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (7)

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.

Dec 15, 2006

Director-writer Hobbs, making his feature debut, walks the lip of the campy abyss in this deliberately theatrical rendering of the disturbed mind.

Dec 15, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4
Top Critic

The psychobabble makes for dry filmmaking until [subject Daniel Paul] Schreber starts going fem. From that point on, it's every man for himself.

Dec 15, 2006 | Rating: 2/4

[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.

Dec 15, 2006 | Rating: 2/4

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.

Dec 14, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Hobbs' inspired feature sticks close to real-life texts, retaining Schreber's disconcerting mix of Teutonic clarity and schizophrenic imaginings.

Dec 12, 2006 | Full Review…
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