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film review

Actress Kristen Wiig is interviewed at the premiere of "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Park City, Utah. In Welcome to Me, Kristen Wiig is Alice Klieg, an off-her-meds Californian with a “borderline personality disorder” and deep beliefs in Oprah-style self-improvement.The Associated Press

Welcome to Me is an unsettling comedy, and I mean that in the best possible way.

Kristen Wiig is Alice Klieg, an off-her-meds Californian with a "borderline personality disorder" and deep beliefs in Oprah-style self-improvement. When she wins $86-million in the lottery, she seizes the spotlight and finances her own television show – a bizarre vehicle for score-settling, live pet-neutering and the discouragement of "carbohydrants." Traumatic incidents are reenacted, but the long-suppressed rage is out of proportion to the small slights of her past.

The key here is that Wiig doesn't play her disturbed character as a loveable misfit – the woman is dangerously narcissistic and without empathy. When she breaks down in a casino, she is fully nude; her emotional exhibitionism is just as raw.

Sure, knee-jerk critics will claim that Wiig and director Shira Piven are making light of mental illness. But pay no mind: Welcome to Me is a non-Hollywood portrayal of crippling weirdness, and a comment on Oprah as an opiate. This is brave. This is welcome.