Friday, July 27, 2007

Savage Grace (Tom Kalin, 2007)

***½
USA

A confounding account of the sensational real-life murder of unstable socialite Barbara Baekeland by her that-much-more-unstable son. With elegance and absolute - as well as, to an extent, blinding - commitment, Tom Kalin (whose first film since the staggering Swoon [1992] this is) directs Howard A. Rodman's haphazard, incomplete draft of a promising script. The characters, although rendered vivid by a uniformly solid cast, are left underdeveloped, and much of their unorthodox behaviour in the third act is shocking for all the wrong reasons. The picture is always absorbing and often dazzling (as pictures tend to be every time they provide the malleably fierce and destitute Julianne Moore with a juicy role), so much so that - despite the unpleasant subject matter and the trying 15-year wait for a second Tom Kalin picture - it leaves you wishing that Kalin and Rodman took some extra time to prod into the motives and causes behind their characters' dodgy neuroses, rather than focus on the kinky effects.

2 Comments:

At 6:00 PM , Blogger Paul Martin said...

Goran, I didn't need the motives spelt out. I thought it was quite obvious. And perhaps spelling things out to clearly would be dishonest if no-one is there to verify the facts.

 
At 8:33 AM , Blogger Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I think you've misunderstood me. I have no beef with subtle - I adore subtle - it's underdeveloped that bothers me

 

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