Mental Check In

8 Films That Feature Bipolar Characters

Everyone needs representation and visibility in the media. People with mental health disorders are no different. Representation helps to fight against the stigmas associated with these disorders.

Not every film on this list perfectly represents the experience of having bipolar disorder. Some exaggerate the symptoms, while others portray it with near complete accuracy. However, what can be said is that these films bring awareness to the fact that bipolar disorder exists, it affects a lot of people, and it’s hard to deal with sometimes. Knowing this, more people will be able to empathize with people who really do struggle with it every day.

The Informant! – 2009 (R)

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre. – IMDb

Starring Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt, Tom Papa and Joel McHale. In this film, Matt Damon’s character, Mark Whitacre, has bipolar disorder.

Touched With Fire – 2015 (R)

Two bipolar patients meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition. – IMDb

Starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as the psychiatric patients. Also starring Christine Lahti, Griffin Dunne, Bruce Altman and Alex Manette.

The Ghost and the Whale – 2017 (NR)

A man, Joseph, loses his wife at sea, then spirals deep into a world of confusion. The wife’s brothers’ need revenge! Joseph tries to tell anyone who will listen that a whale killed his beautiful Annabel Lee, but even he doesn’t quite remember the truth. A journey into the depths of his mind, a conversation with a whale and blood thirsty brothers. – IMDb

Starring Jonathan Pryce, Monica Keena, Tippi Hedren and Maurice Benard.

Mad Love – 1995 (PG-13)

The wild and sexy story of two passionate young people who take to the road for the incredible adventure of their lives. – IMDb

Starring Drew Barrymore, Chris O’Donnell, Matthew Lillard, Joan Allen, Amy Sakasitz and Kevin Dunn.

Mr. Jones – 1993 (R)

After being arrested during a manic episode, a man who suffers from bipolar disorder is treated by a psychiatrist who begins to develop romantic feelings towards him. – IMDb

Starring Richard Gere, Lena Olin, Anne Bancroft, Tom Irwin and Bruce Altman.

Infinitely Polar Bear – 2014 (R)

A father struggling with bipolar disorder tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any easier. – IMDb

Starring Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide.

Silver Linings Playbook – 2012 (R)

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. – IMDb

Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker.

Repentance – 2013 (R)

A successful author and spiritual advisor takes on a troubled man as a client, completely unaware that the man’s fixation on his mother’s death will soon put his life in jeopardy.

Starring Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Mike Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker and Ariana Neal.

Catie Housman

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