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Alexandra's Project (2003)

Helen Buday , Bogdan Koca , Rolf de Heer  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Buday, Bogdan Koca, Gary Sweet
  • Directors: Rolf de Heer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007LI10S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,792 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Alexandra's Project" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


CRITIC'S PICK Ingenious! ----New York Magazine

Genius! Impressive...remarkable...[and] quite unlike anything else out there. ----The Toronto Sun

Product Description

It's Steve's (Gary Sweet) birthday and he's just been promoted at the office. In a good mood, he goes home to his family expecting to celebrate. Instead, he finds an empty suburban home and videotape labeled 'Play Me.' The tape begins with his loving wife (Helen Buday) providing birthday wishes and quickly segues, to his pleasant surprise, into a striptease. But surprise turns into shock when he sees a gun pointed at her head. As the tape plays, his seemingly ordinary life unravels into a nightmare of mind games and revenge. Along with two brilliant lead performances, acclaimed auteur Rolf de Heer brings to us his visionary new twist on the psychological thriller.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing March 19, 2007
By mjd
Many others have already reviewed the plot, so I will stay away from that. I just saw it at our the Cleveland International Film Festival. The director / writer was in attendance for a Q&A after the film.

De Heer claimed that he strived for balance in the two characters when making the film. He also admitted that most people who see the film do not see much balance. He also said that feminist groups were the main advocates for the film.

After watching I came to two conclusions on his intentions.
1. The only balance that I saw is that in the beginning she is miserable and at the end he is miserable.
2. I cant see how any feminst group would get behind this movie. DeHeer portrays this woman as a crazy b#$%#. She is vengeful, she is a whore (literaly), she abuses drugs, and probably worst of all she kidnaps their children.

I would hate to meet the kind of people that support this lunatic. Any feminst that supports a person like this needs mental help. This women is evil and in real life she would lose both of those kids to the father. Dont mistake me here, the father is no choir boy himself. He certainly has his vices and the writer makes sure you know that. But by the end their is only one victim.

As a movie it is very well written and clever. It is a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat for what will happen next. It ends on a down note with a little humor built in to soften some of the blow.

In whole it is a film that is worth seeing. It will keep your interest and leave you thinking....
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Downright Devestating.....but intriguing. March 5, 2006

Based on the reviews I've read, my girlfriend and I decided to rent this one from the library. One hundred and three mintues later, we were both emotionally drained and still wondering what the hell did we just view.

My girlfriend picked up the DVD case sitting next to us and flipped it over to view the back of it. She read aloud, "The Toronto Star said this is 'a movie that will leave few men unrattled and many women vicariously satisfied.'" She then turned to me and said, "'Vicariously satisfied?' What unwanted, unloved bitch had the gall to write that statement?"

In this day and age of "femme fatale"/Thelma and Louise movies, this one is full of bark AND bite, leaving very little else for anything but conversation when its over. I'm sure that that's what the director, Rolf de Heer, wanted to have happen among couples who watch this movie. The funny thing is there would not of been a movie if the main characters DID what de Heer expects his viewers to do: TALK.

Instead, we're treated to a woman, who, though sane, is DEFINATELY not rational. During her "project", it is implied that her husband, Steve, may of had affairs within the marriage, will not let her have money, will not let her take control of any bills, and, if assuming that everything she tells us through videotape is true, he's not emotionally there for her. But that in no way justifies the actions for which she'll take all in a single night to "explain" herself to him. The result leaves one with a bad taste in their mouth after being witness to her anger at and liberation from Steve.

My girlfriend and I will go to the middle and give this movie three stars. It is a well written, extremely well acted film. However.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try, but not quite there... May 22, 2006
There's no denying that Alexandra's Project is a disappointment coming from Rolf de Heer, who made the superb The Tracker, one of the best Australian films of the decade. It's extremely well crafted and hides its low budget quite ingeniously, but unfortunately the birthday surprise that Gary Sweet gets from wife Helen Buday doesn't really hold together if you shake the package too much. Partially it's because the punishment seems far in excess of the crime, partially because you get the feeling that Rolf de Heer has been reading feminist literature just to compile a shopping list of grievances (most of them valid), but mainly because the holes in logic get bigger as the revenge grows out of proportion to the offence until the somewhat ridiculous climax: it's simply not credible even within the framework of the film. But the real problem is that you end up feeling sympathy for the husband for having the misfortune to marry so such wacko, which clearly is not the idea.

There's still much to admire. De Heer sustains the suspense as to what exactly will happen while creating a plausible air of impending dread, the distortion from the anamorphic lenses on doorways and corridors adding to the sense that something's definitely off here, while Sweet is outstandingly good in a role that requires mainly reaction shots from an armchair. Buday is impressive too, but it's more an impressive "performance" with odd moments of truth rather than an entirely convincing human being in the way that Sweet's character is - more a fault of the agenda-led writing of her scenes than her own commendably brave efforts.

The Australian special edition boasts a good selection of extras - 61-minute Q&A session with De Heer, half-hour documentary, trailer and stills gallery.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't get the negative reviews (SPOILER AHEAD)
I really don't understand the negative reviewers. I wonder if they're all insecure men.

Yes, the woman wins in the end. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jmk
1.0 out of 5 stars Ungrateful prostitute (Spoiler Alert!)
(Spoiler Alert!) This is a movie about an unattractive woman that's upset because her husband still wants to sleep with her after being married for years. Read more
Published 16 months ago by JuggaLopes
4.0 out of 5 stars Birthday surprise
Our heroine, Alexandra has led quite the secret life. Quite a powerful movie without all the violence - as a matter of fact shows that the threat of violence can be more... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Margo
4.0 out of 5 stars haunting, intense but not for just anyone
Alexandra's Project is a captivating thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Matthew G. Sherwin
2.0 out of 5 stars Unthoughtful ending!
They could have taken this movie to whole other level but they just made another mundane that was it? she took the children away? Read more
Published 19 months ago by SH
4.0 out of 5 stars `You didn't marry me, Steve, you married my body.'
Rolf de Heer both wrote and directed this strangely fascinating and equally disturbing 2003 film for a cast of two. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Grady Harp
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD info is incorrect
I purchased this version because it indicated that it was the original 103 minute version and not the 99 minute version shown on cable and released in Canada/US back in the 2005... Read more
Published on September 26, 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Stuff
Tour de force film from two truly superb actors. At first I was wary because the plot sounded dull and monotonous but I was at the edge of my seat the whole time even though most... Read more
Published on June 23, 2011 by Alex
2.0 out of 5 stars When a divorce lawyer just won't cut it...
This movie watches like 1970's progressive, feminist agitprop, 30 years late. The movie definitely has it's moments, but any way you want to slice and dice it, it is ultimately... Read more
Published on February 16, 2011 by D. Simonton
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow... Not a bad movie
Read the other reviews for the plot, filming, actors, etc.... I will tell you that there is plenty of nudity... Mostly topless through half the movie... Even some full frontal... Read more
Published on November 27, 2010 by Schmuck
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