We underestimated Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Sure, the actress has turned in a number of charming performances over the years (including roles in the criminally underrated Sky High, the generally forgettable Final Destination 3, and her calling card role in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), but her work in Sundance favorite Smashed is so brutally accomplished and so worthy of praise that it’s more than a bit stunning. In the film, Winstead plays one-half of an alcoholic couple (her husband is played by Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul) who realize that their lives are no longer sustainable and they must make a change. It sounds like heavy stuff, and it is, but the film is also lively, funny, and honest. It’s solid work, and Winstead is the best thing about it.

In her Sundance review of the film, our own Allison Loring singled out Winstead’s performance as the marquee attraction of the film, calling it “stunningly honest” and one that “keeps you engaged and caring about Kate (even in her darkest moments) from beginning to end.” While this first trailer might edge more to the light side of things, make no mistake, Smashed hits hard. Take a sip and check it out after the break.

Smashed opens on October 12. [Yahoo! Movies]

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