This biopic of Frances Farmer traces her life from outspoken teen to Hollywood starlet, followed by long periods of mental illness and barbaric treatment in institutions.
Jessica Lange is magnificent as Frances; her performance is riveting and heartbreaking. Sam Shepard co-stars as her lover and Kim Stanley is excellent as her mother.
It is never clearly established whether Frances was really mentally ill or just a very high-strung and hard-to-handle alcoholic. The conditions she faced in the asylum were brutal and these scenes are very unpleasant.
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