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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Compelling indictment of marital abuse. Sundance 2013, 24 January 2013
Author: Trentflix from trentflix.com
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.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Almost Doesn't Count, 27 January 2013
Author: ddmaingot from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was looking forward to seeing Lovelace since I heard about its
announcement. The cast makes a case for seeing the film regardless of
what the film is actually about. I think the story of Deepthroat as
well as that of Traynor and Lovelace are both very intriguing. Despite
having all of this going for it, I was let down. The pacing of the film
is the biggest problem. The film leisurely introduces us to the cast
and the relationship between Traynor and Lovelace, so leisurely in fact
that I was wondering when the darker elements would be exposed. At only
92 minutes the film feels a lot longer. Anyone with any knowledge of
the story at all will wonder how they're going to wrap it up as the
film meanders only to make abrupt leaps in time.
It makes sense that the directors chose to end the film in 1980 as opposed to 1984, because any longer and the film would have felt interminable. This does hurt the film, though. The way the subsequent events of 1980 are handled is rushed to the point that it feels amateurish. I imagine the pieces that were cut could have been included had there been a tighter edit of the rest of the film as a whole. The way the narrative is handled is wise - cutting back to show different interpretations of the story - because so many have disputed Lovelace's claims.
All that being said,the film has its entertaining sequences - mostly thanks to the performances which are great. Also, the production design never feels hokey or inauthentic (which easily could have been the case). Another issue is that the brutality of what Lovelace claims to have endured is watered down here (for obvious reasons), but it always feels like they could have pushed it further. The scenes of abuse seem so choreographed (and rushed) that it is hard to feel the weight or emotional impact that is intended. All of the threat and malice is left up to Seyfried to make real, which she delivers on, but it shouldn't be entirely on her. Even Sarsgaard's cruel moments as Traynor don't match the sleazy charm he conveys at other points in the film. It's as if the filmmakers just expect the top notch set decoration and costumes to be enough to convince us of the terrible events just by bringing them up. At one point Linda cries to her mother (Sharon Stone) that her husband hits her; sure we see him toss her around but the domestic violence is mostly implied and it feels cowardly. That's the problem, in too many ways the film just stops at almost.
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