In 1892, after the Borden family welcomes a new Irish maid called Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart), she and Lizzie (Chloë Sevigny) become friends. The friendship between these women becomes something more, even as Lizzie's relationship with her own parents unravels at a frightening level.Written by
As good as the performances are in this film, for a long, long stretch it is very slow and staid. Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart are quite good as Lizzie Borden and Bridget Sullivan respectively. The film looks at Borden's relationship with Sullivan and speculates about its playing a central role in the notorious events that followed. A film taking place in 19th century New England, this is also an examination of how dreadfully repressive life was for women at that time. Sullivan is a household servant of the Borden family but soon finds herself being used in other ways in a patriarchal home.
The film is very much told from Lizzie Borden's standpoint, but does not give too much of a backstory, other than to portray her family as regarding her as insane and in need of institutionalization. In addition, giving the audience a more in-depth sense of Borden's life thereafter is something the film could have done and should have. With that kind of void, we are left wanting. Nevertheless, I recommend this to those curious enough about this story and anyone who admires the work of the two principals.
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