Friday 3 October 2008

To Die For [1995]

Insofar as cold, drop-dead beautiful, blond seductress is concerned, who casually manipulates the love-lorn other man to murder her rich husband, we sure have seen ‘em all – from Billy Wilder’s noir masterpiece Double Indemnity to John Dahl’s delicious The Last Seduction. Or have we? Suzanne Stone, a super-ambitious and ruthless bombshell, played with inescapable coquettish charm and wily aplomb by Nicole Kidman, is simply one of her kind. She isn’t after fortune, rather she wants fame and stardom in the world of media and television; and if that means employing three local, fractured teens – an easily manipulated half-witted youth who dances to her tunes (Jacquin Phoenix), his buddy whose other name is profanity (Casey Affleck) and a hero-worshipping young girl – from a strata of the society that is far below her own, to get rid of her loving, restaurateur and family-man husband (Matt Dillon), who she feels would be a deterrent in her path to glory, so be it. A black comedy with a wonderfully innovative narrative style which has the idiosyncrasies, subtleties and the strong social commentaries of Gus Van Sant written all over it, this otherwise mainstream effort from the indie-specialist is a finely executed farcical social satire and parody, albeit in the finely executed guise of a modern day noir.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Genre: Post-Noir/Black Comedy/Showbiz Comedy/Social Satire/Crime Comedy
Language: English
Country: US

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