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Joseph Gordon Leavitt Breaks Out in ‘Manic’

Joseph Gordon Leavitt Breaks Out in ‘Manic’ (photo)

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While Joseph Gordon Leavitt and Zooey Deschanel are a familiar twosome after last summer’s hit (500) Days of Summer, their first film together was back in 2001 in Manic. Manic was the first feature for filmmaker Jordan Melamed and he relied heavily on the Dogme 95 -style of shooting to craft a starkly harsh, but undeniably realistic story. The camera is handheld and shaky, lending the air of a pseudo-documentary that frees the film from any of Hollywood’s usual gloss on mental patients or psychiatric facilities.

Filled with powerful performances by a then-little known cast, Manic is a hard-hitting drama centered on a group of misfit teens in a juvenile psychiatric detention center. Don Cheadle stars as their counselor hoping to make some sort of a breakthrough into the lives of the distraught, disregarded teens he sees in their therapy sessions. He runs headlong into a wall with Joseph Gordon Leavitt’s Lyle, a reserved teen detained for beating a kid with a baseball bat. The only thing that really moves Lyle is Zooey Deschanel’s emotional destroyed Tracy and a plan for escape hatched by Chad (Michael Bacall). Cheadle does an incredible job showing the frustrating work of trying to save the lives of ungrateful unmoved teens.

There is no happy ending for the cast of characters in Manic. The movie is far from optimistic, but offers an unrelenting and insightful story of frustrations, violence, and self discovery. While the future may be uncertain for the characters they portrayed, the young stars and Don Cheadle earned their bright futures with their performances in this film.

Watch the trailer here and tune in to IFC for the full movie:

Manic airs on IFC at 2:45 p.m. ET

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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