Wednesday, August 20, 2014


How can a good actress accept to play in a film that has so little brain value?


Nicole Kidman is such a good actress that, even in 1995 which was early in her career, she was able to carry a film that had very little plot indeed and no suspense since we knew from the very start that she was confessing a crime and the real killer, James, was in prison paying for the crime. We also knew the victim very fast because it was obvious anyway. And the end is what she deserves in the world of direct justice of retaliation.

And yet what makes this film something more than just a plain tricky entertainment?

The first thing is the woman this Nicole Kidman is personating, Suzanne Stone Maretto. That woman is a sociopath and apparently no one sees it. What’s more she is an exhibitionist and everyone is blind to it. She marries for the money and the connections (with the Italian mafia). She is only in love with one single individual: her dog, and nothing else. She dares go to a high school class for some talk with the students and she sits on the teacher’s desk, more or less facing the students with a mini-skirt (at eye level for the sitting students) that definitely does not reach under half her thighs. And no one, not even the teacher, tells her anything, discreetly of course, but that would seem necessary, especially in 1995, and though Monica Lewinsky was not yet an affair that kind of soft-cum-hard exhibitionism was not exactly kosher, at least in schools.

Her desire to be on TV was an obsession and her mafia connections due to her marriage were naturally an argument understood by everyone without anyone having to mention them. So she got her two minutes of TV time at the highest of all peak hour time: the supreme prime time, the weather forecast.

The second thing is the vision given in hat film of teenagers. Three are picked as the only ones we’ll see, hence they are asserted as being representative, and in their class practically no other student is really visible, I mean shown in any way. Teenagers are easy to manipulate for sure, especially when they have penises that are bigger than their brains. Suzanne Maretto turns them into victims in one single instant and each one is the accomplice of the others. She picks the one who has the least brain and she has her puppet on her strings. The most surprising element is that no one seems to see anything nor to care – if they see something.

The third thing is the fact that she manages to go through the whole assassination of her husband and the police and justice procedure unharmed because she tells a tall tale about her husband being addicted to cocaine to which the teenagers she has manipulated had introduced him, and they became feral when he decided to drop the habit. It is a pure lie but she can manage to get it through as if it were holy water or Saint Emilion wine. What’s more she manages to practically have a press conference on the steps of the police station or court when she is apprehended for questioning. The cops are by far more lenient than they should be.

You can beat about the bush as much as you want but something is fishy in this community (that reminds me a lot of Twin Peaks, echoed by “Teens Speak Out”) where an unknown woman who marries the son of a mafia family is a social climber and gets her TV time that makes her locally famous, and from this moment onward she can do anything she wants even the most incredible capers and everyone let her do it and go on to doing more. Her blabber about “America, liberty and all the rest” is nearly an insult to the public who takes the tone of the declaration as a true American heart-deep truth and belief.

Is it the very dark, octopus ink dark sense of humor of Gus Van Sant that makes all that incredible fable believable? Probably, plus the mesmerizing presence of Nicole Kidman and her partly denuded body under her mini-skirt probably that defuse any kind of inclination to protest. Give them the thighs they like and you can tell any kind of rant: they will accept it and believe it.

A great actress in spite of all in a rather unfathomable rave-movie of the rave-party family. I loved the TV destroyed with a bat as if we were in some game of mailbox baseball.


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