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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Daisy Diamond" is not a feel-good film. Every minute of the film
almost feels like torture. No wonder it sold less than 3000 tickets in
Denmark. Why bother to see it then? I will get back to that.
Anna, a young Swedish actress comes to Copenhagen to pursue an acting career. With her she brings her newborn child. However, there is absolutely no close bond between mother and child. The baby is constantly crying(is it missing motherly love?)and the crying and Anna's lack of sleep gradually drives her to a desperate act. She constantly goes to castings and job interviews, but everywhere she is rejected. No wonder that she gradually loses self respect. Driven by guilt and self-hatred Anna, under the pseudonym Daisy Diamond, goes into the porn film industry, where the jobs become more and more degrading and humiliating. Finally she is ready to take the ultimate step.
The film is highly critical in its portrayal of the film- and theater world. Every person seems to be cold , calculated, and ready to exploit others. The actor is seen like a prostitute, who has to offer her innermost private feelings to the camera. Perhaps Anna feels a kind of relief to get into the porn industry,because here she only has to sell her body, not her soul.
Sometimes it's not possible to know when Anna is acting or just is being her real self. In long monologues Anna talks about her innermost thoughts and feelings to the camera, but these scenes are often reflected by scenes, which she has to play at the castings.
The film has several references to Ingmar Bergman, one of Staho's great mentors. On two occasions Daisy is watching Bergman's "Persona" and is moved to tears. Also the Danish director Dreyer and his film about Joan of Arch, another female martyr, lurks behind Anna. Like Dreyer (and Bergman) Staho is frequently making use of close ups of of his female character. Another Danish director, Lars Von Trier, who is almost obsessed by female victims and martyrs, comes to your mind.
So, why bother to see this gloomy film? Because it is great art, and because Nomi Rapache is brilliant as Anna.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film opens up with a few shots of Anna Norberg's face then moves up
to her boyfriend shooting up heroin in an alley. When she tells him she
has money to go to Copenhagen to become an actress, he turns nasty when
she won't give him the money for more heroin and then proceeds to rape
her. A baby cries and someone complains about it, revealing that the
two young people are actors auditioning for a movie. The judges then
tell Anna that they will go for someone else for the part.
What follows is a harrowing descent into a nightmare that ends in tragic consequences. Anna's baby, Daisy, cries non stop (several times, the baby stares at Anna when she isn't crying, probably longing for a love that she will never get) and Anna repeatedly chastises her, sometimes wishing she were never born, other times displaying loving affection for her, and mostly complaining about her constant crying. Time after time, Anna auditions for parts to support her baby, all of them reflecting her possible life story, and she is rejected, either because of the baby, her inability to remember lines, or that she simply isn't right for the part. This leads to an unforgivable act, long suspected that it would happen. After making a cameo in a film which portrays the horrifying crime she committed, she then turns to prostitution and works in the porn industry.
It's an intense, depressing and heart-wrenching piece of filming that's not easy to watch. However, it's definitely worth it to see the brilliant determination and commitment that Noomi Rapace gives to her performance as Anna. I believe it's precisely that kind of fearlessness that won her the role of Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium film series. She's too strong an actress to be kept in the dark and I'm glad she's managed break into Hollywood.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's simple: as a young Pacino, Noomi really explodes the screen by an
incredible performance and anybody in the movie business who watches
this movie would be eager to work with her!
This movie is just one trip to hell for her character as her life as a young single mom kept getting so bad that it crushed her. This is sad, tragic and immensely painful as Noomi is led to do the unthinkable! After twenty of minutes of her baby daughter crying, you expect something bad but the infanticide really shocks me. It's such a taboo that even the movie can't face this reality as it has the baby coming back as a vision. Nothing exists anymore for Noomi and she really gives her body and soul to the darkness. From the happy moments to the end, Noomi is perfect, finds and plays the right feeling, the expected attitude and you just wonder how she can do that? Her sweet dialogs with her baby, in front of the video shop and in the bathroom, are among the best moments of maternal love ever filmed. (with a special dedication to the real baby who played with her!)
Another strength of the movie comes from the filmmaking: showing a lot of close-up when people speak is a good idea, especially to enlighten Noomi's cute face. I also like the fact that the casting she does as an inspiring actress reflects her own life and thus sometimes, the two realities speak together. In addition, I'm sure it speaks on a third level for Noomi because she was maybe like this during her real auditions!
Does the movie have flaws? Certainly: as things goes only way (bad), it's a bit unrealistic and too much. On the other side, Noomi isn't a bright mother but then I would have insisted on that a lot more as you can wonder about the strange choices that she opts.
At the end, I bless once again the day that I went watching "Prometheus" because this is the movie that introduced me to Noomi and i really don't know if i would have found this amazing movie without it!
Director Simon Staho's Danish film "Daily Diamond" is one film whose meaning can be easily summed up in a single, long sentence. However, as it talks about things which mean a lot in our daily lives, the issues it raises and their repercussions on people would be felt for a very long time. Although it has a small baby girl as one of its protagonists, it is not at all a family film due to its excessive reliance on nude scenes and violence which border on a mild form of quasi perverse pornography. Actress Noomi Rapace is perfect in her role of a Swedish girl who does not crack in a harsh Danish cinema industry where casting couch is rampant and most people associated with cinema business offer free advice while revealing their philosophical thoughts about acting business. Their hypocrisy is revealed when it transpires that these are the very people who don't hesitate in giving "share my bed if you want a role of your life" type invitations to struggling actors. The film does not stop at all in asking a pertinent question: which 'real actor' can survive in a harsh cinematographic milieu where talent takes a back seat ? As far as watching this film is concerned, there is a minor warning for viewers who are working mothers. Although this film depicts the tragic plight and problems of a working mother, it fails to offer a plausible solution.This leads us to ask whether it is ethical to have a child when the mother is not at all in a position to raise it. Lastly, the real star of this film is a 4 month old baby girl whose life is snuffed out too soon by her mother who would like to make it big in the phony world of cinema.
How can anyone write about the subjects brought up in the movie? About
the acting or the scenery? When a baby is being abused right in front
of the viewers' very eyes.
With regard to what is done to the infant in this movie, I can't see how it was even allowed to be distributed. How can it be legal? Why didn't anyone in the film crew do anything about this? The main actress? Another actor? The director? I couldn't watch it to the end.
In my days, I've seen a lot of bad movies. And I've seen a lot of disturbing movies as well. I've often laughed at people with exaggerated politically correct opinions. People who think that this and that should be censored, prohibited or else. But this movie just takes the cake.
There has been a lot of movies based on a girl who escapes home to
become an actress and ends up in a desperate situation. Most of them
are in a social mood of giving young girls and the families a lesson.
However, this film is not something a young girl could watch. The sex
scenes are exaggerated too much and the depression level of the film is
too high. You can find almost everything in this 'drama' that you can
find in a pornographic movie. And you can even learn new sexual terms.
By watching this movie, instead of blaming the life for being so cruel or getting the point of which way to follow in life or teach yourself how to raise your child you just watch the exaggerated scenes and try to receive something out of them. Not a bad movie in general but a little out of the track.
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