A tale about a happily married couple who would like to have children. Tracy teaches art, Andy's a college dean. Things are never the same after she is taken to hospital and operated upon by Jed, a "know all" doctor.
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>
First Joaquin Phoenix acting credit where he is credited as Joaquin Phoenix. All his previous credits he used the name Leaf Phoenix. See more »
At the end of the movie when Janice (Illeana Douglas) is skating on the frozen pond, she is very unsteady on her skates like someone who has not been skating long. Janice skates out of the frame and then skates back into the frame, however, it is clearly another, more experienced skater. See more »
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!)
81 of 88 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?