Kelly's path towards happiness is thrown amiss when she witnesses a shocking event, which threatens not just her happiness, but her mental health as well.Kelly's path towards happiness is thrown amiss when she witnesses a shocking event, which threatens not just her happiness, but her mental health as well.Kelly's path towards happiness is thrown amiss when she witnesses a shocking event, which threatens not just her happiness, but her mental health as well.
This film is ostensibly about a hooker trying to go straight but it's really about the dark subcultures of our world which feed on the urges "normal" people must deny to maintain civilization.
Mainstream Hollywood loves the shiny parts of those subcultures, the random encounters, sexy young things and "pimps up, hos down" trappings of that darkness. But when it comes to showing the whole of the poisonous ecosystem, the popreligion-fueled evangelistas and their sycophantic bean counters in the MPAA and studio system have no interest in acknowledging, much less depicting, its existence.
The studios are happy to show you the yards of sweaty flesh and the figurative hunt/kill part of the act but the process someone goes through to try and get out of that world? Oh, that's a NC-17 art-house flick starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. The mainstream producers prefer to focus on what they think you want in a drama: achingly beautiful people living in penthouse apartments on a plumber's salary acting out plots lifted from "Search for Tomorrow". But what about real drama, the infinite and often-lost battle that stems from the eternal, fundamental conflict between what we wish and what we are? Save it for Sundance.
This movie is far from perfect but it gets so many points for originality and effort I'm giving it 9/10. It tells a difficult story with a very offbeat lead (a strong woman), a underused setting (I was one of those kids in the orthopedic ward for about a year in the mid-70s and when I saw them performing that odd yet haunting musical number I was really moved) and slightly unusual viewpoint and style (shoe-cam, the use of Beethoven, etc).
Constance Towers strikes the right note of bravery and inner strength without turning into a hard-hittin' miracle woman caricature and Grant strikes just the right note for playing a molester; despicable in action but also showing that basic human need to give and receive love, even in his twisted way. Griff moves the plot along, not the greatest acting chops but he hits the marks and reads the lines.
Definitely worth a rent. Check it out.
- Aug 5, 2006