Kristen Wiig continues moving toward edgier movie comedy than she could get away with on television in Welcome to Me (R), a Sundance entry playing out its shoestring budget.
Wiig stars as Alice Klieg, who wins a mega-millions lottery then does what any mentally ill person might do: quits her medications and buys herself a syndicated TV talk show to share her fractured perspective with the world. The studio's sibling owners (James Marsden, Wes Bentley) spar over the content and Alice, while her psychologist (Tim Robbins) frets on the sideline.
"Funny, dark, and riding a very fine line in its depiction of mental illness, it may be the best thing we could hope would emerge from the side of Wiig that gave us Gilly," wrote Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore when Welcome to Me debuted at last year's Toronto Film Festival.
Drew McWeeny of Hitfix.com called director Shira Piven's movie "a beautiful, sad, sweet and funny movie that deals honestly with mental illness while also earning big laughs and offering up some hard truths. And it helps that Kristen Wiig gives the best sustained performance of her entire career in the lead."
Welcome to Me opens Friday at Tampa Theatre.
Steve Persall, Times movie critic