A dramatization of the shocking Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case, which happened in a posh London flat on Friday 17 November 1972. The bloody crime caused a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and remains one of the most memorable American Tragedies...
The true story of the beautiful and charismatic but mentally unstable Barbara Daly, who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland, heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. Their only child is a failure in his father's eyes, and as he matures and becomes increasingly close to his alienated mother, the seeds for tragedy are sown. Written by
The beach scenes were shot during tourist season. According to Tom Kalin, German nudists were the most common tourists at their location. They had to be wrangled out of some shots, to the consternation of the crew, and to Julianne Moore, whose daughter Liv was on set. See more »
When Barbara and Tony first walk through the park in Paris, they pass a little girl, and a young woman walks into frame towards them. In the next shot, the little girl is in a different position and the young woman is gone. See more »
I was eating a tomato at tea time a few weeks ago, and I suddenly realized that mommy is not dead at all. Just very, very mysterious.
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Having seen quite a few films produced by Christine Vachon, I recognised a similar aesthetic in this film. Vachon's films often portray unconventional sexuality or other challenging social themes, but in a stylised way that is more accessible to wider audiences than grittier art-house films. This film would make a terrific companion piece to Christophe Honoré's Ma mère, as it tackles similarly challenging themes, though it is based on a true story and is much more digestible for audiences. The parallels between these stories are remarkable.
Julianne Moore is an actress I admire and takes top billing. Her performance was as good as usual, portraying Barbara Daly Baekeland, wife of the Bakelite heir. Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of her homosexual son was for me the stand-out performance. The film is set in various countries - the US, France, Spain and England - and the visuals are excellent. It takes a while to get a handle on where the film wants to take us, but it culminates in a chilling end. Worth seeing for the brave risks it takes and succeeds in delivering.
The Melbourne International Film Festival screening I attended was introduced by the director, Tom Kalin.
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