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It's been a while since Body of Evidence was released to theaters and
rejected by critics and the public. But I'm not at all ashamed to admit
that I still get kicks out of popping this film into the vcr and getting
completely entangled in the story. It's thought provoking. Can someone
literally be, umm, sexed to death?
And why do people think Madonna did such a bad job in this film? She was perfect in doing exactly what she needed to in order to develop her character--the sultry Rebecca Carlson. I mean, come on! Who else could look so sexy as the mega bad girl delivering a line like "I f***--that's what I do." Madonna is superb and I think she really proved critics wrong when she won a golden globe for Evita a few years after Body of Evidence was released.
The plot of this movie is one of the most interesting story lines I have ever known. Is Rebecca a out of control dominatrix who really did sex her much older lover to death? That's what the prosecution tries to prove as they charge her for murder after her wealthy older lover is found dead. Throughout the film, the plot thickens and you're not sure if Rebecca is a murderous bitch or not. And the sex scenes in this are highly erotic! Madonna, come my way with that candle wax any day of the week! And the look in her eyes as she teases her lawyer by shoving her fingers down her panties---Geez, that look is classic!
Body of Evidence may not be Oscar caliber, but hell, was Titanic? I don't think so. But if you're in for a sinful delight, you should go rent Body of Evidence right now.
I couldn't tell you the plot of this movie. Actually, I don't know if this movie had a plot. What I do know is that Madonna is in it and boy or boy, is she ever. Another courtroom drama without the drama, the only reason one will watch this movie is Madonna. The passion between Dafoe and Madonna is the only thing worth watching. That and the nudity and strong sexual acts, Body of Evidence is a left over movie stolen from the Basic Instinct genre. The courtroom and crime scenes is just background to what the movie is, Madonna in the bedroom.
Beautifully filmed, Madonna never looked better. This campy thriller gave Madonna fans some of her most famous lines--"Men Lie", "Have you ever seen animals make love", That's what I do, I", and a few others. Her clothes are incredible and Julianne Moore is very pretty too. Now, the problem lies not so much within Madonna's acting but timing...the film was released 3 months after her SEX book pictorial was released. The public just didn't know what to think, and I do think her constant blinking of the eyes can become very irritating. The sex scene in the parking garage is beautifully filmed and Madonna does kick some butt in the sex scene department. If you think about Sharon Stone's icy performance in Basic Instinct and Madonna's in this--they're really about the same. But a major Madonna backlash had begun by the time this film was released and was labeled a turkey. As a Madonna fan, I LOVE IT--as a regular viewer, ITS PRETTY GOOD. No, I can't lie-- I love it! Sorry, I really do! Campy and fun! NOT to be taken seriously!
It was only a matter of time that by 1993 Modonna one of the worlds
most recognized woman and #1 sex symbol was to showcase her enormous
and natural talents on the big screen for all to see.
"Body of Evidence" is a story about greed lust murder and betrayal where Madonna, Rebecca Carlson, is accused of murdering her rich and elderly lover with the most potent and deadly weapon at her disposal, her body. The lurid and sensational trial that followed left the quiet and sleepy little city of Portland Oregon so shook up that it still hasn't recovered from the shock that hit it after all these years.
Portland Millionaire Andrew Marsh, Michael Forrest, is found dead of a heart attack in his mansion with his hands tied to the bed and a video tape of him and Rebecca Carlson having sex still playing on the VCR. Before long the DA has Miss. Carlson indited for his murder and the evidence against her is almost air-tight and a conviction seems like a forgone conclusion.Miss Carlson was to inherit $8,00,000.00 from Marsh after his death. Attorney Frank Dulaney, Willam Dafoe, takes the case for Carlson's defense and it turned out the be the biggest mistake that he ever made in his entire life.
The movie goes from the ridiculous to the sublime and every thing else in between and by the time the movie is over you feel like you went over Niagara Falls on a surf board. You have to say one thing about "Body of Evidence" it's not at all boring and Madonna dose have acting talents with her very effective portrayal of the sexy and over the top Rebecca Carlson, even though she was obviously playing herself. Willam Defoe was very good as Rebecca's lawyer who was manipulated by her like all the men that she manipulated in the movie; you couldn't fault him for that once she turned it on the poor man was a goner.
Anne Archer, Joanne Braslow, was tragic as well as sympathetic as Rebecca's rival for the dead millionaire Andrew Marsh's affections as well as money whom to no one's surprise lost out to. Joe Mantegna was as good as ever as the hard driving DA, Robert Garrett out to convict Rebecca for Marsh's murder.
The movie has a number of shocking and explosive surprises that will keep you guessing until the final credits start to roll and is much better then you would expect from all the negative comments that it got at the time of it's release. Madonna's acting surprisingly evoking sympathy as well as outrage during the entire movie, Madonna was very good in the scene where she was on the witness stand, that even rival her scenes in the buff, which was the real reason for most people seeing the film, that gives the audience and extra bonus.
Like most people, I'm weary of celebrities trying to excel in more than
one field. The marriage between singer and actor has become
increasingly blurred over the years and isn't helped by actors wanting
to sing as well. Thus, we have the likes of Britney Spears
("Crossroads"), Mariah Carrey ("Glitter"), Jennifer Lopez ("Anaconda")
and Kylie Minogue ("The Delinquents"). Correct me if I'm wrong but I
don't recall any of these films being nominated for an Oscar. Madonna
has been determined to buck the trend for some time and had a modicum
of success in "Dick Tracy". "Body of Evidence" was released just before
her infamous "Sex" phase of her career and like that, this film courts
controversy for controversy's sake.
Madge plays Rebecca Carlson, as obvious a femme fatale as you can imagine. She's sexy, cold-blooded, wears a beret and implicated in the murder of her lover. You see, he died watching an explicit video of them having sex. So wild and unrestrained was their passion that the old man's heart just packed up. Despite being way too ugly for a role of this type, Willem Dafoe plays her spineless lawyer Frank Dulaney who agrees to take on the case but ends up falling for Rebecca's kinky ways - threatening his marriage as well as the case.
Essentially, this is a court-room drama with gratuitous sex scenes thrown in at random to keep the viewer interested. And it makes no bones about it - all throughout the trial, we hear how shocking and disgusted we'll be at some of the details. But sadly, this film isn't as shocking as they'd like you to believe. Yes, Madonna is seen naked but quite frankly, haven't we all seen her naked over the years? It's not like she's shy or anything. And as for Dafoe, he simply doesn't have the look or attitude for a romantic lead. Consequently, when his character falls for Rebecca, he looks less like a charmed snake and more like a worm on a fish-hook. I suspect Dafoe was brought in because the producers wanted a heavy-weight actor to bring some gravitas to proceedings. No one looks bothered or emotionally engaged with the plot besides Madonna, the blatant centre of attention in this film.
If you compare something like this with something similar like "Basic Instinct" then "Body of Evidence" simply crumples up into a ball and starts crying. The characters and acting are all one-dimensional, the court-room scenes are dull and predictable (and while we're on the subject, how come I haven't seen a decent scene in a court-room since Gregory Peck in "To Kill A Mockingbird"?) and even the sex scenes are slow, ponderous affairs. I'm sorry but I don't consider hand-cuffs or hot wax to be kinky - for some people I know, that's for breakfast. The truth is, your Honour, is that "Body of Evidence" is guilty of wasting your time and everyone else's. And while the murdered man may have had his heart race, yours will not be.
Trashy sex-melodrama might've been much more fun had it the slightest sense of humor; alas, all the laughs here are unintentional, and the straight-faced actors just end up looking foolish. Willem Dafoe seems on auto-pilot throughout, cast as a Defense Attorney opposite Madonna, playing a woman who is suspected of killing her wealthy older lover with too much rough-housing in the bedroom. Grubby nonsense with a cliché-ridden script, B-movie characters, and a silly finish. For camp-addicts, a hoot; all others beware. Released to video in R, NC-17, and Unrated versions, none of which managed to improve on the ludicrous screenplay. *1/2 from ****
Certainly not a great film, but not as bad as it has been made out to be. Madonna's acting is OK, and I suspect the "woodenness" of her performance was largely what the director wanted. Her character's passion was limited to the bedroom (and elevator, and stairs, and parking garage, etc.) and never extended to her daily life. And, by the way, I had forgotten how pretty she could be back then. Anne Archer looked awfully good as well, even while being weepy and not completely hinged. The rest of the cast put in good work, with a special commendation for Julianne Moore. Frank Langella was suitably creepy, and Joe Mantegna suitably industrious. Some of the dialog didn't completely work, but if you watch this without preconceptions, you'll find it OK.
First thought that popped into my mind when 'Body of Evidence' began was
that this had the potential to be a bad episode of 'Law & Order.' Who knew
that it would be much worse? The script and direction is absolutely
horrible, hands down. We all know what we came to see and an interesting
movie is not it here.
Can you fornicate someone to death? Strangely enough, Madonna is on trial for committing such a terrible act!
I cannot completely hate the movie for some nice scenes between Dafoe and the 'Material Girl.' But if you can think of any other reason to watch this tripe, be it for pitying Julianne Moore as one of her earlier works or for just plain abusing your life, please do tell! 'Body of Evidence' should simply have been called 'Madonna's Sex Movie.' Could have done better with it.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut
to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it
Not that there is a TV version.
We could also call this 'Madonna on top' or 'Madonna in charge' or maybe 'She can show you the power you can have from the prone position.' The one thing about Madonna, other than having no shame (and I admire her for that) is that she can crawl and not feel the slightest bit reduced.
She's not especially bad in this mediocre thriller, nor especially good. The script is ridiculous and the treatment without a hint of nuance or subtlety. William Dafoe and Joe Mantegna seemed to be acting on rote and Anne Archer was a wash. The problem is the movie is so obviously fake that it's like watching bad TV. There's no point other than kinky sex. I'm not sure why Madonna agreed to do this. I can't believe she needed the money, nor can I believe she didn't care about her reputation as a performing artist. I think her appearance here exposes her weakness: simply put, she has bad taste because this could not in any way further her career.
On the plus side I saw the unrated version and she was very sexy.
Because the critics gave this such a panning, I didn't bother to watch it for a long time. Now that I have, I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Amazingly, I thought it was better than Basic Instinct, the film that everyone said it was simply a poor copy of. The storyline is tight and engaging, Madonna much better than usual, the sex scenes good, even if Willem Defoe appears more comfortable in the courtroom scenes, and the ending brilliant. A greatly under rated film.
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