Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Savage Grace

Dir: Tom Kalin (Swoon)
Cast: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Stephen Dillane, Elena Anaya, Hugh Dancy
France/Spain/USA, 2008

Seen: July 9, 2008 at Varsity

Reason to see: Compelling preview, looks pretty dark but interesting

Savage Grace follows the story of the Baekelands family, where Brooks is the heir of the Bakelite plastics fortune whom marries Barbara and together they have a son, Tony. The film is based on biographical book of the same name and is decidedly shocking, an undercurrent you pick up from the trailer. I have no problems with shocking, but I was surprized to find after looking at my ticket that the film was 18A as it appears to be a dark drama. Ratings aside, my main concern with the film was trying to figure out who they considered the main character. It feels like the main character should be the son Tony, played by Eddie Redmayne but I was always drawn to the strength of Julianne Moore's portrayal as Barbara whenever she was on the screen. I would have been happy if it was a double protagonist tale but instead like there were reminders throughout to pull the viewer back in line and tell us it was about Tony. This kept me far more occupied that I would have liked throughout the film.

The other big question for me was who is the audience for this film? It's very dark and has a few big taboos but overall I felt at a bit of a loss whom they were trying to reach. It was, unfortunately, not me.

Shannon's Overall View:
It made me think
I'm not sure I'd watch it again
I'd am at a loss at who to recommend it to

11 minutes of preshow including 9 commercial and 3 previews: Elegy, Angel and Vicki Cristina Barcelona

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© Shannon Ridler, 2008


blakecgriffin said...

I saw this move at Sundance this year and I have never felt so uncomfortable in a theater. To the director's credit, it takes skill to create something that disturbing, but it wasn't a pleasure to watch this movie by any means.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Very true that it does take skill to handle the subject matter and create something disturbing. I saw it with a fair sized audience but I wonder if it would have been different if it was packed. There was at least one audible gasp during the screening. If nothing else, it's kept me thinking.

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