Liz & Dick (2012 TV Movie)
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Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were outrageously self-centered alcoholics and their on- and off-again romance offers great dramatic potential.
While the filmmakers reference Elizabeth's mental problems -- including an impulsive suicide attempt and a later-life tendency toward psychosomatic illness -- and Richard's passive aggression, we get little more than a hint about these tendencies.
We see the pair smooching, brawling, chain-smoking, and boozing but we never quite believe that they really love or loathe each other.
Lindsay Lohan is made to look very similar to Liz, but the significantly older Grant Bowler looks nothing like Burton and I never quite bought in to his passion for her.
The drama is framed by a peculiar interview format in which Liz and Dick have returned from the grave to kibbitz about their life together. I found it tedious and repetitious.
I kept watching this over-hyped trifle out of morbid curiosity, not because it was good.
Most of the film is pretty much showing how much of a selfish woman Taylor was, and all the extravagant gifts that Burton gave to her. Nothing is really revealed about the characters, and they have as much development and emotion as a cardboard cutout. Taylor is selfish, Burton gives in, his brother yells a lot, Taylor's mom is also selfish...everyone just has one emotion, and there are no redeeming qualities of any person. Just a lot of yelling, throwing stuff, making up and getting back together. Nothing more, nothing less.
The story is lackluster, really exposes how shallow both people were and cements my opinion on how celebrity worship isn't enough to support a film. It would be like making a film about Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith's life, and selling the film based on their popularity, not on their actual lives. Of course, their actual lives are as unfullfilling and bland as Elizabeth Taylor's, but that's not my point. Nobody want's to watch tripe like that. And this film is the epitome of just that.
Hate is a strong word, but it describes this film perfectly. It basically exposes what I think is wrong with our society...viewing celebrities as gods instead of normal, flawed people. At least with films based on other people, like Ed Wood or the newly released Lincoln, it is an intense character study and exposes the flaws of even heroes. This film does nobody justice, and fails on every level.
This production only proved to me and others that Lohan has indeed become an appalling actress. Lohan's earlier work was moderately performed, as well as the fact that you can give some forgiveness due to her age and the category of movies she has been in. But she has failed to cultivate any true talent as an actress and portraying Elizabeth Taylor was way out of her league.
Then there are her lips. I don't know about others, but Lohan's lips were such a distraction that all I wanted to do was prick them so they would deflate. Who the heck told Lohan that she looks good with her lips looking like the end of Donald duck's bill, in a frozen fake pout that would probably work great for the sound effect of a motor boat?
SNL is going to have a great time with this production of Lohan, again. In fact, SNL only has to show snippets of the actual Liz & Dick for people to laugh.
And what was up with the part of Liz in the 80's? Lohan looked so phony and gave such a dreadful faint scene that you just want to hit play, then rewind, then play over and over just to laugh because laughing was the only redeeming quality of this Lifetime show.
LIFETIME! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? AND HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US??? YOUR BETTER THAN THIS.
Lindsey, people aren't hiring you because of your lifestyle, constantly being in trouble with the law and the fact that you are such a train wreck. YOU AREN'T BEING HIRED BECAUSE YOU CAN'T ACT.
The only redeeming part of the travesty is Grant Bowler. Grant should receive an award for having to perform opposite of Lohan. Grant tried his best to salvage the production despite the fact that this was a total mockery of such a great actor and actress and a poorly written script.
What an overall disappointment.
As atrocious as Lindsay's performance as Taylor was, Lohan was not the only reason Liz and Dick failed to be a successful Hollywood biopic. The screen writing and storyline were extremely lacking in substance and failed to represent the better aspects of Taylor and Burton's love story. The film depicted Taylor and Burton as raging alcoholics; there didn't seem to be a scene absent of some sort of alcohol or narcotic. The entire storyline consists of love making, drinking, and fighting, all of which happens between only two characters. None of the other characters in the film are deeply developed or even included in the storyline at all. As a viewer, it's hard to engage in a film without any real substance or emotional ties to characters. Overall, this was not a good movie and I undoubtedly give it a 2 out of 10 star rating. Lohan failed to give the great Hollywood starlit the justice she deserves, and it's a good thing Taylor isn't around to see the abomination. The movie had great potential and it was something that I looked forward to seeing. A glimpse and dramatization of the great Liz and Dick love story could have been a romantic and successful movie. Capturing Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's life and love on film is no easy feat, and it shouldn't have been handled the way it was; if they were going to do it, they should have done it right or at least without Lohan.
Here are a few of my favorite Tweets about the film: @campsucks This is the weirdest episode of Mad Men. #LizandDick @NicDressel An actress who will never win an Oscar playing an Oscar winning actress in a movie that will never win any award. #inception #lizanddick @fuggirls The chemistry between LiLo and Grant Bowler is the equivalent to trying to light a cigarette with an ice cube. H #LizAndDicK @BenWiddicombe .@lifetimetv Can we have Hilary Duff as Grace Kelly please? Maybe Snooki as Audrey Hepburn? Jazz Ponce #LizandDick I believe we've been way too hard on stars of previous Lifetime movies. For one We really owe Tori Spelling an apology @JasonAlexander If the dead could sue, the producers of "Liz and Dick" would be in court this morning.
@pattonoswalt Dear @lindsaylohan: I give you permission to Tweet me to smithereens when I do Lifetime's CHAZ BONO: THE CRUELEST CUT in March. #lizanddick Check out My Blog: http://mknavarre.blogspot.com/
Lindsay Lohan was absolutely awful. I'm not a fan of either hers or Taylor's, so it wasn't even a question of her doing a bad job portraying an actress I admire... she was just terrible, period. Totally unconvincing, with none of Taylor's presence and class. The guy who played Burton was quite good, I thought, but Lohan sank the whole ship with the both of them on it.
Didn't really like the inter-cuts either, with "Liz" and "Dick" sitting in director's chairs chatting about their past to the camera, breaking the fourth wall. Awkward and odd structure that didn't really work.
As I said, I wasn't disappointed because I had no expectations of seeing a good biopic, but anybody looking for a convincing portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor definitely will be. Avoid unless you like train wrecks. Hope young "Dick" gets out of this one with his career intact; he's got potential.
For me, the high point of the whole thing was when Burton died because I knew that the movie was about to be over. Skip this one.
Look, I went into it with zero expectations. None whatsoever. It's a Lifetime movie, the kind I invite my girlfriends over to watch with some wine and popcorn and it's usually just a hilariously over the top, fun time. Not so much with this.
To be honest, it felt like this was someone's coke-fueled fan fiction. There was no time to give a crap about anyone, because of the crazy editing and scenes that lasted an average of ~20 seconds. Someone died! Who was it, because nobody made an effort to develop any characters.
Here's what the titular characters do: Drink, smoke, have sex, and fight. Repeat ad nauseam. At some point they're supposed to get divorced a second time but according to this film, he dies first! I don't even know. It was terrible.
Grant Bowler tried, he really did, but man - and I feel AWFUL saying this - Lindsay Lohan is done. She cannot act to save her life, and I was too focused on her atrocious accent and curious cheek fillers to even pay attention to her when she attempted to act.
Lohan's mannerisms, gestures and facial expressions didn't match the emotional moments she was suppose to be portraying throughout this film. It was like she was rushing through each scene so she could go somewhere more important rather than stick around and try to perform in this dumb movie.
Taylor's body was very curvy--most of her adult life she struggled with overweight, yet, she always projected a raw sexuality that jumped off the screen. Also, Taylor had huge breasts. That's one thing Burton used to say he loved about Taylor. Yet, Lohan appeared scrawny and flat chested in many scenes, as she moved clumsily around trying desperately to be sexy.
Overall, Lohan's performance was almost laughable--sort of a cartoon version of the remarkable Liz Taylor.
The guy who played Richard Burton was much better than Lohan. He is gorgeous. But, this actor had a lousy script to deal with and Lohan to interact with, so he struggled to be believable.
The script was superficial and flimsy.
My grade for the film is a C- verging into D.
It can't be blamed on just one person's performance, but I would put a vast majority of the blame on Lindsay Lohan, the script and the production.
Grant Bowler showed a lot of potential and often it either seemed like he was either the only one actually acting in a scene (with Lohan) or he was trying to illicit some kind of emotional reaction in her performances that her responses to this was almost always met with a flat note. You could completely feel and see the disconnect between them and their own personal expectations. I felt like he put in his all and that he was trying his best to stay in character, but her personality was far more visible and opague than her acting on any level that the believability was just not there. I found myself feeling pity for him and the rest of the cast, but often the bad dialogue just amplified these problems ten-fold.
The sense of time/space was very vague too. Scenes would change often but you had no idea how time had progressed. There was no real feel of what time period you were in or the energy of the era you were living in. Many of the scenes looked the same or the vibe was always the same. You had to rely on the text that would appear that would tell you the shift in time, but I looked away at one point and found myself totally lost time-wise in the film. This made the film feel like it was crawling to finish and made it feel like they hadn't finished editing. Almost like they didn't get enough good scenes, they just decided to put in what made the most sense time-wise, but it was just snapshot moment after snapshot... it felt more like you were going through a change-of-set at a high school play than a cinematic transition like really any movie.
Looking back, had they cast someone more reliable than Lindsay Lohan in terms of acting and personality, they would've stood a better chance of finding someone whose chemistry would've matched Grant Bowler's acting. This film probably would not have struggled so much to make the dialogue work. However, her acting felt 'rushed' as there was no real energy there and she was sleep walking through the scenes.
On the plus side, my interest in Elizabeth Taylor grew so much after this film because I felt like it did her so little justice... Lindsay especially made Taylor seem more estranged to the viewer after her performances. For anyone who wants to know more about Elizabeth Taylor, they would do better to read a biography and watch a few of her movies than to watch this film... this film does her little justice.
The Richard Burton wasn't as bad yet his lines were awful. I am sure there are better writers out there somewhere. They just simply did not want to write for this movie.
The movie simply took two iconic movie stars and failed to create a movie around them. Then, placing Lindsey Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor was a total failure. It would have been better to select a totally unknown actress that had some fire and passion as well as acting ability rather than Lohan.
It would have been nice to see this movie with the least bit of talent and presence on the screen. And, with a talented writer as well.
Oh well, I guess that is why it was only shown on Lifetime...no one else wanted it. Now we all know why.
Don't waste your time watching it.
How can anyone think Lindsay Lohan could play Liz Taylor. She can't hold a candle to her. I was born in 1963 and something draw me to Liz and Dick. It was one of those love stories you couldn't pass on.
I was so excited when they remarried.
This movie is not even worth me talking about it and I am so glad that neither Liz nor Richard have to see it.
Liz, we will not remember you by this movie, but by the person you were.
Beautiful, an icon, unforgettable movies, and a real bad perfume ;-)
For the purpose of this excremental "film", Lohan pretty much mails it in, which is to be expected, given her inability to do much otherwise. The production team should be brought up on charges for foisting this assault on the senses of even the least discriminating of viewers and the network which gave any of these clowns the arena with which to air this trash should be relegated to the nether regions of the most obscure cable package imaginable.
Yes, it is THAT bad.
The Lohan experiment really needs to end. Let her be on her way to becoming the only thing she was ever destined to be: a long lost footnote in the annals of talentless buffoons who once captured the public eye for no other reason than the sheer fact that they could not stop being stupid.
2)I'll give Grant Bowler points for putting forth effort and actually acting.
3) The script is an episodic mess, with Lohan and Bowler drinking, arguing, and having sex ad nauseum. The writers paint Taylor and Burton as overgrown brats, obsessed with themselves so much that it's hard to believe they love each other at all. The relationship here seems based on lust more than any spiritual or emotional connection. Even if that was intended by the writers (which I doubt considering the sentimental epilogue), it's still done badly.
4) Taylor and Burton's romance deserves better. This is a pathetic soap opera. Skip.
Honestly I found myself stalking the scene ends, and wondering how they had managed to allow this to happen. Truly it makes me wonder if Lohan has even seen an Elizabeth Taylor movie?
There is a lack of effortlessness that, to me at least, Elizabeth (even in the face of her worst turmoils) conveyed in all of her movies.
It's almost as if Lohan focused on the wrong angles of what made Elizabeth one in a million. Yes she had her problems, but she said herself: "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together."
I think Lohan forgot the pulling yourself together part.