The life of several people whose lives revolves around a typical Montreal Guest House at the "Plateau-Mont-Royal" district. The main caracter, Symphorien, is a naive but sympathetic fellow,... See full summary »
Suzanne Stone (Maretto) knows exactly what she wants. She wants to be a television newscaster and she is willing to do anything to get what she wants. What she lacks in intelligence, she makes up for in cold determination and diabolical wiles. As she pursues her goal with relentless focus, she is forced to destroy anything and anyone that may stand in her way, regardless of the ultimate cost or means necessary. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Printed photo images of Suzanne and Jimmy, shown later in the movie, don't match their poses in the photo booth. See more »
Suzanne Stone Maretto:
[to Lydia about Russell and Jimmy]
It's their word against mine. Who are they? Bunch of 16-year-old losers who grew up in trailers whose parents sit around drinking and screwing their cousins!
Suzanne Stone Maretto:
I'm a professional person, for Christ's sake. I come from a good home. Who do you think a jury would believe?
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A scene plays out over the end credits where Janice skates over the ice rink where Suzanne has been buried. A darkly comic moment where Janice is literally dancing on Suzanne's grave. Its an ironic fate too because Suzanne spent a lot of time looking down on Janice through the movie. Now the situation is reversed. See more »
Clever story with more depth that appears at first blush, directed with irony and a sardonic sense of humor by Gus Van Sant. Nicole Kidman plays an especially shallow TV weather person who gets some grunge kids to kill her husband for her. Her motive is, as Illeana Douglas, who plays the sister-in-law, says, "he got in her way." This is a nice study of narcissism metastasized into psychopathology. She is headstrong, motivated and rather stupid. She thinks only of herself and would do anything for herself and would do anything to anybody who got in her way. And amazingly, she does.
Matt Dillon is wasted as the husband (in more ways than one). I'm surprised he agreed to do the part. Kidman is mesmerizing and makes us believe in a slightly unbelievable character. We've all known narcissistic little darlings who would kill you for the right shade of eye shadow, but to see it acted out so coldly and with such appalling stupidity, yet with a psychology so bizarre that it has to be real, fairly takes your breath away. It was especially apt that she had him killed so that her pointless little docu-drama "Teens Speak Out" could become newsworthy enough for national exposure. Consicously she doesn't realize this: she has no introspection; she just acts.
Also cute is the way the picture is framed: a pseudo-documentary within a pseudo-documentary. Everything is so well orchestrated that when Kidman gets her surprising, but entirely appropriate comeuppance at the end, we are quite pleased.
(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 at Amazon!)
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