Eleanor Riese Wikipedia, Hughes, Real Photo, Story, Images, True Story
Eleanor Riese Wikipedia, Hughes, Real Photo, Story, Images, True Story – Two stories are told in “55 Steps”. The first is a legal drama based on the true tale of Eleanor Riese, a psychiatric patient who sued a San Francisco hospital in the late 1980s to obtain the right to refuse medication whose side effects she thought were injuring her.
The second is the tale of the bond that eventually developed between her and Colette Hughes, the patient’s rights attorney, who represented her in court. The most moving of these two storylines is the second one, which Helena Bonham Carter and Hilary Swank, who play Eleanor and Colette, vividly bring to life.
The story of informed consent begins in 1985 with a call from Eleanor, a patient at St. Mary’s Hospital at the time, to a legal-assistance hotline. At the time, informed consent was not required for California mental patients. The dimensions and stakes of the case are rapidly established, under the no-nonsense direction of Danish director Bille August (“Les Misérables”), working with a perhaps too-dry screenplay by Mark Rosin.
Eleanor, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and minor mental retardation, just wants the ability to discuss the type and dose of her antipsychotic medicine with her doctor. Eleanor will be representing 150,000 other sufferers if Colette and her partner (Jeffrey Tambor) accept the case, which they do quickly.
The other film, about the unlikely relationship between the two main characters, is quietly taking shape, with an eccentric pacing and a parcel of emotional rewards that are on par with the film’s legal triumphs, while the legal manoeuvring and courtroom theatrics proceed with the alternating setback/victory structure that is endemic to this sort of thing.
Eleanor, played by Bonham Carter, is a high-maintenance, passionately determined grouch who is essentially impossible to like. Bonham Carter gives a wonderfully weird performance. Swank, on the other hand, is no slouch either: Her Colette is a largely unattractive workaholic who was a former psychiatric nurse before discovering law.
But for some reason, at least on the screen, these two difficult characters are entertaining to watch. In the end, their charm lies in their unwavering honesty. Eleanor isn’t seriously disabled, Colette tells her friend and client. “You’re extremely annoying.”
The screen crackles with the acidic chemistry created by this oddest of odd couples, to which Eleanor responds with a loud cackle.
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