I must say, I was not taken aback...*SPOILERS*
I will preface this post by saying I am not a troll, and if you want evidence of that feel free to look at my posting history.
That being said, I must say I was not really taken by this film. I conduct research on mental illness and am often intrigued by its portrayal in films, since of course films tell us a lot about cultural views on many subjects. While the acting was excellent, and there were many tragic and emotionally charged moments, I just thought the plot left much to be desired. There were many times that things just seemed way too disjointed. The workplace accident scene was a good example of this. It just happened and then was quickly forgotten about, which would obviously be far from the case even in the 70s. The way people spoke to each other also didn't seem right either. The dinner table scene at the beginning with all of the husband's co-workers was a good example of that. People spoke to each other like robots and it just seemed off. I also thought the ending fell flat, because it didn't really fit with the mentality of the characters throughout the rest of the film. The husband sends his wife away, she comes back, quickly shows she is still not well, tries to harm herself, clearly exhibiting behaviour that is potentially dangerous to herself or her family, and then he just seems to instantly come to terms with it and carry on like its normal. This didn't make sense given that he committed her in the first place to try and "fix" her. Unless he suddenly stopped caring about his, his wife and his children's safety, which again doesn't fit with the way he acted throughout the film, then it just seems off.
Essentially I thought it had many strong elements, and I wanted to like it, but I just felt like it stumbled on many occasions. Now, I realize this is just my opinion, but I've seen a lot of debates that are quite condescending by those from the cinephile community (a community I like to think I am a part of) implying that people who don't "get" this movie are somehow guilty of only understanding childish "Hollywood" films or have no attention span. I think this is wrong and misguided. I can say that while I was not bored by it (which seems to be a common criticism), I just didn't think it was a film that deserved as much accolade as it received, and I for one much prefer films like The Snake Pit (1948) or even The Bad Seed (1956), which, while being slightly sensationalist, have tighter plots and do a better job of portraying mental illness in a certain way while also being a solid film as well. That's my two cents. Feel free to agree or disagree, I won't be offended either way.