Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
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A failed London musician meets once a week with a woman for a series of intense sexual encounters to get away from the realities of life. But when he begins inquiring about her, it puts their relationship at risk.
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Manu and Nadine lose their last tenuous relationship with main-stream society when Manu gets raped and Nadine sees her only friend being shot. After a chance encounter, they embark on an explosive journey of sex and murder. Perhaps as a revenge against men, perhaps as a revolt against bourgeois society, but certainly in a negation - almost joyful in its senseless violence - of all the codes of a society which has excluded, raped and humiliated them. Controversial for its violence and real sex scenes: a vividly nihilist road movie set in France. Written by
H. G. Ziche <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Amidst all the controversy about the porno-style sex scenes, random acts of violence, liberal depictions of drug use and so on it seems the central question has been lost - is Baise-moi actually any good? Well, the answer is "No - not really."
It starts well enough, nicely setting up the two main characters with some very well-acted, almost documentary-like scenes. Well, I say nicely - the word seems hardly appropriate when these scenes include Manu and another woman suffering a genuinely harrowing rape while Karen prostitutes herself, along with a liberal smattering of general sex, violence and substance abuse. Nevertheless, the opening is well-played out and directed with surprising flair (especially considering that this is the debut movie for both its directors).
However, when the plot kicks in proper and the two women end up on the run together the film's interest begins to drop fast. Oddly, the further out of control the two protagonists get the less exciting the story is - it gradually becomes a mere retread of countless other low-grade revenge/exploitation movies, simply with a slightly more porno feel. By the denouement, to be brutally honest, I was bored stiff (a stiffness which is nothing to do with the pornographic element of the movie, I assure you).
One of the main problems is the inherent lack of any kind of point. The beginning of the movie seems to be setting the film up as an analysis of our responses to violence - of how an upbringing in a cruel and violent environment can manifest those tendencies in ourselves - and also as a commentary on the parallels and links between violence and the act of fornication. However, it completely fails to deliver on either of these promises in the second and third acts and, increasingly, one gets the feeling the film's only reason for being is that it thinks it is cool. Unfortunately for Baise-moi, it isn't. It's a wasted opportunity. It's only real use is as a shock tactic, but even this is wasted on anyone who's seen a porn film - the violence side of it is no worse than is seen in any number of straight-to-video action/thriller flicks.
Ultimately, all there is to recommend Baise-moi is a couple of impressive acting performances, a few amusing lines of dialogue and a thought-provoking 20 minutes at the start. The rest, sadly, is nothing to get excited about.
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