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Brigsby Bear

Director:  Dave McCary
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  2.5

After decades of being held in captivity by Ted (Mark Hamill) and April (Jane Adams) and encouraged to watch a TV show called Brigsby Bear (that Ted made exclusively for him), James (Kyle Mooney) is rescued by the FBI and returned to his birth parents (Matt Walsh and Michaela Watkins) ... but with his understanding of the world limited to that kids' program, he has difficulty adjusting to 'normal life.' While the psychological aspect to this is conveniently glossed over - psychiatrist Emily (Claire Danes) is regarded as an enemy, captors Ted and April had "good intentions" - it's really about the use of art to address personal problems/resolve trauma: in "continuing" the Brigsby tale for a larger audience, he's (hopefully) putting his own twisted past behind him (or so we should hope). All of this isn't realistically "healthy," but the movie is so doggedly upbeat (and James' support system, including detective Greg Kinnear, is on-his-side), it can't help but feel like a (screwed-up) victory.

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