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Postcards From The Edge

Year: 1990
Studio: Columbia
Director: Mike Nichols
Producer: Mike Nichols
Writer: Carrie Fisher
Cast: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Anette Benning

This film might have been a lot less subtle and heartfelt except for the casting – with pros like Streep and MacLaine in the leads you're in very good hands despite the slightly dated aesthetic.

Based on the life of (and from the pen of) Carrie Fisher about her relationship with her mother, drugs and her acting career, Suzanne (Streep) is going off the rails from substance abuse and her director Lowell (Hackman) is making threats about the danger she poses to his movie.

Suzanne goes to rehab and part of her forced treatment is to live her mother, former star Doris (MacLaine) and the other destructive force in her life.

Streep and MacLaine effortlessly bring a lifetime of familial resentment, love and tension to the surface and to enrich the plot, Suzanne also has a love affair with a bad boy actor (Quaid, looking ridiculously young) and tries to get back into the film industry in a terrible cop film that actually gives us a hilarious insight behind the curtain of Hollywood.

Plenty of other scenes like the visit from the fake/friendly producer (Reiner) who only wants to make sure she's clean make it as effective a comedy as a drama, and with Mike (The Graduate) Nichols behind the camera and Fisher's tragic/comic turn of phrase on the page, it's a perfect storm of formidable talent.

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