Compelling indictment of marital abuse. Sundance 2013
I attended Lovelace at Sundance not knowing too much about the story of Linda Lovelace. Linda Lovelace is the most famous pornography star of all time because of the film Deep Throat (1972) which became wildly popular with mainstream audiences and brought pornography into popular culture. More than an indictment of the pornography business, this film is an indictment and expose on spousal abuse. Linda married young and was sexually and physically abused by her husband throughout her marriage. She was forced into doing these films and acts. She eventually found the courage to leave her husband and wrote a tell-all which is what this movie is based on.
The way this story was structured keeps it interesting and revelatory, and tonally the film is in accordance with her life. Things start off happy and there are lots of funny moments but soon enough things take a turn for the worse and that is where the true drama ensues.
Amanda Seyfried may not seem like the right choice for the role but she handles herself and the material with ease. She does a fabulous job evoking a wide range of emotions and brings her performance to a previously unseen level (at least, from what I've seen of hers). Peter Sarsgaard naturally exudes kindness and charm, we are seduced by it as she is, yet when the time calls for it he is rightly overpowering and terrifying.
Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman started off making documentaries that were both important and compelling. They made the switch to traditional narrative films with Howl which showcased their talent but Lovelace is further proof that they are multi-talented and continuing to grow in skill.
The film does leave out a few things, most likely for the sake of the narrative, Linda was forced to participate in several short pornography loops before she appeared in Deep Throat, including a bestiality film. She also made two movies after Deep Throat (including Deep Throat II).
The film has instant notoriety for its connection to Deep Throat and hopefully this will drive a bigger audience to it but it will likely gain some controversy as well for its association (in fact there was a small group protesting it at the premiere which is utterly ridiculous). I hope this film gets a large audience as marital abuse in its many forms is far too common a problem and needs to be brought to the forefront of discussion.
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