Ruby & Calvin Ruby Sparks (2012)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Writer Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) completely exploits his control over living puppet Ruby (Zoe Kazan) as the film comes to a head.
Using his bewitched typewriter, he manipulates her every movement in a disturbing display that’s as terrifying as anything from The Exorcist…
How It Helps Your Own Life: If you need to control somebody, there’s something wrong with you. So don’t.
Judith Traherne Dark Victory (1939)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Long Island socialite Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) discovers that she has a brain tumour.
Sadly there’s no way to cure it, and after going blind, Judith will die within the year.
How It Helps Your Own Life: Judith accepts her lot gracefully, which is the best way, really.
Flynt The People Vs Larry Flynt (1996)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Rehab regular Flynt (Woody Harrelson) gets the shock of his life when AIDS-suffering wife Althea (Courtney Love) winds up dead in the bathtub, prompting him to swear he’ll amend his ways.
How It Helps Your Own Life: Never bathe alone.
Aura Tiny Furniture (2011)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Pretty much the entire film sees Aura (Lena Dunham) wallowing in an extended rock bottom as she attempts to make a life for herself post-uni.
But shagging in a human-sized drain-pipe has got to be the absolute bottom…
How It Helps Your Own Life: Being aimless is fine – we’ve all been through it. Just don’t let it take over your life.
The Bride Kill Bill (2004)
The Rock Bottom Moment: The Bride (Uma Thurman) hits rock bottom just as Kill Bill Vol 1 opens.
Beaten to a pulp by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (on the day of her wedding rehearsal, no less), ex-boyf Bill then puts a bullet in her brain. Sheesh.
How It Helps Your Own Life: “I get knocked down, but I get up again…” should be your new ringtone.
Margot Take This Waltz (2012)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Margot (Michelle Williams) has a bouncy, happy new life with new beau Daniel (Luke Kirby) at the end of Take This Waltz.
But after a total fuckfest, the relationship simmers down into mundane routine once more. Will Margot ever be happy?
How It Helps Your Own Life: Be happy with what you’ve got. The grass is always greener. Etc.
Arthur Arthur 2: On The Rocks (1988)
The Rock Bottom Moment: If the first Arthur ended on a happy ending (he gets the money and the girl), Arthur 2 sends the titular playboy into a spiralling despair when he losing the money and the girl and ends up wandering the streets alone at Christmas…
How It Helps Your Own Life: Be prepared – a happy ending isn’t always the ending.
Caroline Wakefield Traffic (2000)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Caroline Wakefield (Erika Christensen) was doomed from the start.
The daughter of a drug dealer, her own burgeoning habit sees her hitting the sidewalks of Cincinnati to sell her body and raise funds for more white stuff.
How It Helps Your Own Life: If you have to whore yourself to get it, it’s not worth it.
Justine Melancholia (2011)
The Rock Bottom Moment: Justine (Kirsten Dunst) just got married, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be depressed. You’d have to be mad to leave somebody like Alexander Skarsgård – which she is.
And then the world ends.
How It Helps Your Own Life: If the world’s been destroyed, it doesn’t really help you out, does it?
Eva We Need To Talk About Kevin (2012)
The Rock Bottom Moment: We meet Eva (Tilda Swinton) still living wedged in rock bottom after having found her daughter and husband killed by serial killer son Kevin (Ezra Miller).
How It Helps Your Own Life: Love your kids even if they’re bastards.