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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Helen Mirren never fails to amaze. she can play anything if she wants to.
This flick is not as trashy as it's title may imply. Here she plays a
'dancer' in a club. Her face is all painted up, evidence of perhaps a
too much rouge. Very tartish. Most movies about 'strippers' or 'dancers'
poor movie reviews only BECAUSE of their subject matter. This movie is no
exception as is evidenced by Leonard Maltin's one-star review of the
But movies that are about, what many consider seedy subjects, can be well
told. Mirren's character is working in her club & meets a teacher like
character played by John Shea. They don't really click at first but
they are drawn to each other through conversation. Their relationship soon
blossoms sexually. Mirren also has a young son. She can't seem to cast off
the likes of her son's father. A brutish ex-convict. The convict comes
into Mirren's & her son's life & meets Shea. They don't like each other.
ex-con is soon broiled up in the IRA, smuggling drugs, & later, bullies
to join in as a driver for him. The ex later kills a coke-sniffing
by shooting him in the back of the head after an argument. Mirren's ex
decides he wants to go his own way and leaves Shea alone to have Mirren.
Shea then opts to Mirren to leave the London area with him but she won't
because her son has entered an important sports program in school. After
arguing w/Shea over this she realizes Shea is right. She has a talk with
son and convinces the lad that other schools will have sports programs
like his current school.(Nice touch by the writers here as the boy
responds/agrees quite willingly with his mother's suggestion).
Just sit back and enjoy as well as study Mirren's acting here. She handles risky subject realistically. I like the way the writers included her having a son because in real life most dancers have kids. That's why they're dancing.
No stranger to nude scenes in movies, Mirren has a few here most notably the full frontal while lying in a bathtub. But nevertheless this is an excellent mature story told with adult viewing in mind.
well, the title is certainly "trashy" enough to mislead those looking for a quality drama away to other things. the makers definitely could've chosen a better one, but perhaps they wanted the added interest a lurid title would draw? the box the DVD i watched came in had this extra bit of salaciousness as a caption at the top: "how much sex is enough" (l.o.l.) but, being familiar with helen mirren's career, i knew that if she were starring in it there might be nudity (and there is), but it'd be a first-rate film (and it is). she's always been a knockout, in addition to being one of Britain's best actresses. hence, her honorary status there as a "dame." (she was also, at age 60, recently a marquee guest speaker at the local film festival) i'm really surprised, though, that somebody didn't go back and change the title of this film. anyway, i liked it. if you like helen mirren - particularly, early h.m. - you'll like it, too. note her entrance into the film's story after the first few minutes. that tells you everything you need to know about what the filmmakers think of her, and her own class.
This was not a bad film, but without Helen Mirren's acting -- she was
superb even in 1980 -- I'm not sure how bad it COULD have been.
Unfortunately, she's teamed here with John Shea, an American would-be
heartthrob who was supposed to be a big star at one time until someone
found he wasn't a very good actor.
It was annoying to rent this, because the DVD jacket shows Mirren in sexy poses. She is never really nude; we get a profile glimpse of one of her breasts as she climbs into a bathtub. But the DVD jacket would have you believe she's all but into explicit sex here. Pure exploitation of Mirren. This movie would have been more or less forgettable if she hadn't gone on to greater things.
All things considered, this is just another familiar and formulaic 'thriller' about a hard-working single mother reduced to prostitution who gets it on with Shea after a 'romance' of sorts.
My personal rule of thumb: if you're looking for a sexy movie, and a DVD has sexy pictures on the front, there's a 90 per cent chance you're going to be disappointed. This movie is just another example of the rule.
I can't say that I liked this film very much, but it did have some good elements. First, and foremost, Helen Mirren. She has always been sooo beautiful, even into her sixties. Here, she was about thirty-five, and looks it, with some lines around the eyes that no modern actress would tolerate in this Botox era. I found it charming and attractive, myself. But then, I'm no spring chicken myself. Many actresses ruin their looks with toxins and surgeries. Yes, feminine beauty is ephemeral, but the effort to maintain it often goes horribly bad these days. Anyway, the plotting and casting seem better to me now, than when I was watching the film yesterday. Not sure what that means. I guess I'd say that fans of Mirren (like me) should definitely see this, and others should probably skip it.
I read with interest the other reviews on IMDb. With all respect, all
from the other side of the pond, so to speak.
Helen is a National Treasure to many of us Brits; the oft (and justified) referral to her Oscar winning portrayal of Her Majesty being the Crown on a long and varied career.
As such, many actresses could get very squeamish and guarded about their earlier films, disassociating themselves totally and making excuses. Whilst Ms Mirren is unlikely to list 'Hussy' as one her key performances, her conviction and strength of character means that no doubt it has helped shape her career and made her a better all-round actor.
Yes, 'Hussy' sells itself as soft porn, like the very clubs she is an escort for, to entice you in. The DVD cover is tawdry-looking and mentions Mirren as the now Oscar winner. This is not about bitching and petty jealousies as was in Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls"; the story does move on and away to being a credible thriller that were a mainstay in UK cinema and TV. Series such as The Professionals; hard nosed, in your face crime, gritty and unrelenting. Not particularly good but generally quite watchable.
True, only Mirren shines on the acting front, and that hardly taxes her. But this is over thirty years ago. No-one else in the cast is actually bad to the point of being awful. To me, though, becoming of adult age about then, it is the London, the snapshot of a misspent youth of my own and making it slightly more human that is the best bit of this practically forgotten film. I do not regret having bought this DVD; true it won't get played very often, if at all, any more but as I said before 'Queen' Mirren did have to start out somewhere!
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