Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
A fair attempt at softcore drama, just have to wait for it.....B-
"Carnal Passion" was one of those softcore films that gets by on the strength of its sex scenes. The story didn't really begin until the movie was almost over, which lowers the grade quite a bit.
This film centers on three people who have made a living out of stealing cash and jewelry from others. They each have specific jobs. Monique Dulane (played by Holly Sampson) is a seductress/con-artist/thief who specializes in getting to know a man, seducing him, screwing his brains out, and then stealing his cash. She leaves a rose as her calling card on her way out; a nice touch I might add. Her partner, Dane, specializes in becoming the guy's best friend, getting his defenses down, and telling him where to put his valuables so Monique can get to them much easier. The third part of this scamming threesome is Gabrielle (played by Nicole Hilbig, aka Dru Berrymore), who, via her many dinner parties, seeks out suitable targets for Monique and Dane to go after.
The first part of the movie focuses on how these three work on a target; in this case, the guy's name is John. John is loaded, and Monique and Dane waste no time in bilking this guy out of $1.5 million. However, this part is merely for show; an example of a successful job. By now, we're more than halfway through the movie.
Gabrielle has another target lined up, but Monique has different plans; she wants to stop being a thief and go legit. Dane tells her they'll go straight after this last job, but she wants to quit now. It stems from her meeting a guy named Richard at one of Gabrielle's little parties. They get friendly, but don't have another meeting until much later in the movie. Monique feels like she can fall in love with this guy. The problem is, however, Dane never told her exactly who their last target would be......it's Richard!
Now the plot twist comes, but there's only 25 minutes of movie left. From here, it's a mad scramble to the finish, with Monique wanting to go away with Richard, Dane wanting to get his money back from Richard for a gift he bought Gabrielle, and Richard knowing from the start that something was up, but saying nothing out of his growing feelings for Monique. The ending seemed rushed, to say the least.
Oops, I haven't mentioned the sex yet. There was plenty of it, very graphic, with lots of skin slapping, moaning and grunting. Nicole Hilbig also does hardcore porn, and her sex scenes are the most graphic of the bunch. This film is borderline tapeworthy, but I'd tape it for the sex scenes. It's too bad they waited until there was 35 minutes left to actually start the movie.
Women: B (Holly Sampson and Nicole Hilbig are the main eye candy. Nicole's performance was hampered by her thick German accent, but the rest of her was great to look at. Holly was fine as well.)
Sex: A (Very graphic sex scenes always get high marks from me. Plenty of sex from beginning to end.)
Story: C- (A fair story that just wasn't given enough time to properly develop. Since they wasted 65% of the film showing the audience how these three scam artists operate on a target, the filmmakers missed out on developing the story well. The first part of the film could have been cut down some. This grade is also low because I could barely understand what Gabrielle was saying. Since Nicole's accent is so heavy, I could only decipher about one-third of her dialogue. I'm not blaming that on her, maybe the writers should have given her fewer lines instead.)
Overall: B- (A fair attempt at softcore drama. Good-looking women, graphic sex, and a below average story. If the main storyline started 20 minutes into the film instead of an hour into the film, the overall grade would have probably been much higher.)
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