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I won't give away any spoilers but I hope the yound male lead in this film makes more movies where he can bring his characters such honesty and realism. Of course Peta was great too in her supporting role. If you like to be drawn into a movie and don't mind getting creeped out a little, "Beautiful" is right up your alley.
This movie has several things going for it as a thriller: the dialog and *everyone's* acting are terrific; the plot sets you up for some interesting and unexpected developments; the story is seen from the vantage point of several of the characters, lending it a sort of "Rashomon" feel; and the movie begins at a meandering pace but imperceptibly gains momentum, like a river flowing fatefully to the falls. It builds to a deafening crescendo that ends with a climax as sudden, intense, and haunting as Taxi Driver's.
The movie also has several weaknesses that prevent it from being a great thriller: it borrows atmosphere and imagery from the David Lynch movie "Blue Velvet"; the tone of the movie alternates between sinister and banal in such a way that it obscures its psychologically unsettling and unique observation; and a central character behaves incomprehensibly at the end so the plot can be tied up, but somewhat unsatisfactorily.
The world of adults is full of secrets and misinformation, because people don't talk to each other. And a lonely adolescent is like a loaded gun.
This is a shame as it's a rather cool idea. They just didn't have the stuff to pull it off.
Here's the scoop. This made for Aussie TV movie is set in a quiet, upper middle class suburb, but something is afoot. A few young girls have gone missing over a couple of years and there is a run down, mysterious house at the end of one of the blocks. A black, muscle car is seen cruising now and then and has some tie to that house. A young boy, an outsider, who lives with his policeman dad and dad's live in girlfriend teams up with a neighbor girl to try and unravel these mysteries.
This is a movie about how things can get out of hand. How a little information can be dangerous. This is a cloistered community where most everyone wants things nice, safe and neat. Appearances count for much and when the hot, spoiled girl is sunbathing in the rain, in a sexy, red swimsuit, well....that just isn't right. She manipulates her young neighbor friend, with her wiles, to worm his way into the mysterious house and get the low down. He does and this really heats up the issues.
The acting and production values are on par with the story. Nothing bad but nothing really outstanding, with the possible exception of the two young leads. What it needed was a better script. Something more subtle and with more finesse. This was just too clunky. And the final scene was so far out of left field I can't imagine what was on the producer's/ director's mind.
This is by no means a bad watch. It just could have been so much better.
The primary problem with the movie is the writing---it is terrible and the story simply does not hang together. After watching the entire movie I still don't know what was really going on or what really happened to the boy and the others in the film? Were the stories of the missing teens real or simply urban legend?--we don't have a clue at the end of the movie and it appears the writer didn't either. The dialogue and behavior of the teen neighbor who manipulates the young boy was not realistic for a teen of that age. The sex scenes in the movie seemed to be gratuitous rather than enhancing or necessary for the progression of the story. I get the feeling the language and simulated sex were merely to get an "R" rating in order to interest more people in watching the film.
The second major problem was the director; there were a lot of "artsy" shots which seemed to only achieve filling time since the plot and story line were so convuluted (e.g. a long close-up of a spider web and others showing flowers.)
The talent of Peta Wilson was wasted in this movie; if fact, it is very difficult to even recognize her as the actress in the LaFemmeNikita series--she is much heavier, her dark brown hair is not flattering, her skin appears to be sun-damaged (perhaps from the Australian sun) and her performance seemed wooden--there is no spark that you would expect after seeing her in Nikita.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it was done very well.
It was a movie that show what I through a family or a really good friend should be,
No the greatest flick I've ever seen, but not terrible either. Bought it used and didn't pay much, so wasn't too disappointed.Published on January 2, 2013 by PJ
Mixed feelings about this movie. In general, it kind of sucks. But Peta Wilson makes the amazing most of a minor role. Her performance was quite moving. Read morePublished on September 14, 2011 by Michael Cooper
Beautiful is a tragic portrait of two teenagers who suddenly and abruptly have come to the end of the innocence and so they give free ride to their power imagination, when a... Read morePublished on March 9, 2011 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela