Mad to Be Normal

Mad to Be Normal

Robert Mullan (2017)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Seven years after handing back the keys to the Tardis, David Tennant stars as another charismatic doctor in a thought-provoking biography of controversial psychiatrist RD Laing. Author of a key text on schizophrenia, The Divided Self, Laing infamously lived with his patients at the London community centre Kingsley Hall in the 1960s. In this account we find him experimenting with drug-free treatments, save for a brief flirtation with LSD (when he was dubbed "the acid Marxist") and meanwhile, he tries to sustain a steady relationship with his long-suffering American girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss). Although liberties have been taken with the true story, director Robert Mullan draws on his experience making documentaries to bring immediacy and pays special attention to period detail with almost every sepia frame filtered through a blanket of cigarette smoke. Among the residents Gabriel Byrne's Bible-quoting patient adds a touch of menace, offset by Michael Gambon's more comical turn. Tennant is as watchable as ever, resplendent in migraine-inducing psychedelic shirts, walking a fine line between radical visionary and arrogant chancer.


During the 1960s, renegade Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing courts controversy within his profession for his approach to the field, and for the unique community he creates for his patients to inhabit. Biopic, starring David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss, Gabriel Byrne and Michael Gambon.

Cast & Crew

RD Laing David Tennant
Sydney Kotok Michael Gambon
Angie Wood Elisabeth Moss
Jim Roberts Gabriel Byrne
Dr Meredith David Bamber
Jane Simons Rebecca Gethings
Bryan Trevor White
Maria Olivia Poulet
Dr Bloom Nigel Barber
Director Robert Mullan
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: GSP DistributionGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse.Available on: DVDReleased on: 6 Apr 2017