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Downloading Nancy (2009)

Maria Bello , Jason Patrick , Johan Renck  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Maria Bello, Jason Patrick, Rufus Sewell, Amy Brenneman
  • Directors: Johan Renck
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,796 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Downloading Nancy" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

When Albert Stockwell (Rufus Sewell) comes home from work one day he finds a note from his wife of 15 years, Nancy (Maria Bello), saying she has gone to see friends. After waiting several days, Albert realizes that his wife is missing. Nancy has met her salvation on the Internet in the form of Louis Farley (Jason Patric). Nancy and Louis, both wounded souls, take comfort in one another through e-mail, pictures, and promises of perverse sexual encounters. Nancy has finally found the one and only thing that can liberate her from the pain in her life. While she pursues the freedom that she feels will only come with ultimate liberation, Albert is left to put the pieces together and try to salvage what is left.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulmates March 22, 2010
"Downloading Nancy" is the best film I've seen in a while. What is so impressive about it is its ability to make the characters in an almost unbelievable story so believable.

Nancy wants to die. After suffering horrific childhood abuse, and being stuck in a loveless marriage for 15 years, she can only really feel alive when she's in physical pain. To cope, she cuts herself, but her fantasy is to find a sexual sadist willing to take her life for her. Enter Louis, who she meets on the internet, and who is willing to serve as her sexual dominant and eventual murderer.

Louis is the yan to Nancy's yin. He deals with psychic pain by inflicting physical pain. His demeanor is calm and controlled, as opposed to Nancy's histrionics. They're soul mates. They understand each other. And ultimately, when Louis acts, it's out of love.

What makes the film is really Maria Bello's powerhouse performance. Nancy is not an easy character to like - she's a person who's so determined to die that she's lost any desire to maintain any kind of dignity. She can be harsh, abusive, cruel ... and yet the actress makes her pain so real that it's hard to fault her for anything she does. She is somehow able to make this disturbed, ruined woman both relatable and even lovable.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and challenging. January 16, 2010
One of the bravest films I've seen in a long time. Jason Patric is absolutely icy. Actually, the whole film is downright chilly. This is definitely one of the most atmospheric films I've ever seen. The title is a bit off-putting but the direction, the acting, the script, the cinematography, the score - all top notch. Further proof that it really doesn't matter what you do, as long as it's done well. Even if the subject matter is troubling or disturbing, at least it is honest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well That Was Bleak September 4, 2013
Downloading Nancy takes place in a cold, dark world. Literally. It always appears to be about nine-thirty at night, even when the characters are shopping for a dress. Outside, the streets are covered in snow and run past bus stations, parking lots, and fast food places. Nothing decayed: just aggressively unglamorous. The colors are all watery blues and grays. Even the chunky computer monitors from a few years back are oppressive. One of them sits on the desk of protagonist Maria Bello's ineffective psychiatrist along with a bunch of ring binders, which as depressing bric-a-brac goes is maybe a bit much. When Bello storms out of a restaurant in a fit of depressive rage she appears to walk directly into a junkyard. At one point, she lies to her husband about going to visit friends in Baltimore, which sounded way too far south to me. Maybe instead of being merely metaphorically hellish, Downloading Nancy is actually a film about the afterlife, and before it begins Bello's character has already died and gone to Buffalo.

It may seem odd to focus so much on the way this movie looks, but Downloading Nancy is more effective as a mood piece than either a character study or a thriller, and its look is the most effective medium for conveying its sense of unvarying dreariness. One-note art direction can draw strength from its consistency, but plot and characterization need more variation, something Downloading Nancy bravely foregoes. It uses tricky chronology to build some suspense, but can only manage so much. Early on you see where the story is going, and then it goes there. The performances are better. Particularly from Bello, who swings wildly from rage to self-pity to clear-eyed hopelessness. She is sympathetic but never likable. As her husband, Rufus Sewell is also intriguing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If someone suggests this as a date movie... RUN! June 26, 2011
Downloading Nancy is a twisted love story which is well told and expertly acted. Maria Bello does a wonderful job portraying such a miserable, broken character. One cannot ignore her intense pain and anguish. I wanted to kick Nancy's husband in the teeth regarding the indifference he shows her. The relationship that occurs between Nancy and Louis is incredibly spooky and creepy, but still feels real.

This is such a bleak movie that I wish I has spent the time watching something else. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie; just beware. Especially considering it is based on an actual person, Downloading Nancy stays in your head for a long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ironically life-affirming May 30, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Downloading Nancy features self-harm and S&M, without the cutesiness of Secretary. Watch Secretary if you like your pain prettier and madness moderate. The two films differ in ending, lighting and colour, and degree of dysfunction. This isn't a bored housewife flirting with mental illness; Nancy's problems stem from a perhaps insurmountable childhood. If that hadn't been revealed early enough, the film might've been intolerable to see through to the end. The only happy ending is for Nancy, and that is debatable.

Maria Bello makes you believe that Nancy's emotional pain is greater than any physical one. Some may see that as Nancy being a spoilsport, but aren't there some experiences in life that you would have to be crazy to recover from?

Downloading Nancy is gritty, in subject matter and visuals. Do not watch this if you cannot bear to see people hurt themselves and others. This film is not life-affirming. Watch it to quench your nihilistic jonesing, and then go outside and take a walk in the sunlight. Yes, you will be compelled to do something constructive almost immediately after watching it. So it's ironically life-affirming?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars downloading nancy was on ok drama. the premise is ...
downloading nancy was on ok drama. the premise is a little underwhelming. I just don't think we care enough about Nancy or her situation. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Randy Leblang
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilling to the Bone...
Before I go any further, I will inform you that a case like this actually happened in real life. A woman committed suicide by hiring a man over the internet to torture and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Philip Scholz
2.0 out of 5 stars Downloading nancy
Movie was depressing and the characters underdeveloped.would not recommend.could have been better. If you like self destructive characters then watch this movie
Published 5 months ago by Julie Long
5.0 out of 5 stars based on true events
This film is NOT for everyone. In fact, I'm trying to think if I personally know of anyone else I could tell about this film. Very dark. Perfect acting, cadence , etc. Read more
Published 7 months ago by comradeandlover
1.0 out of 5 stars Nasty
It came to me in a dream, that I should watch Downloading Nancy. I could not sit through this movie, and not feel numb. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bardot
4.0 out of 5 stars True Story of a Woman Falling Apart
This film is based on a true-life story about a psychologically damaged woman who only finds relief by hurting herself. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Blue Leaf
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!!!!
Takes way too long for the story to develop and once it does it leaves you with questions and disappointment.
Published 17 months ago by angie yoder
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark movie
Definitely not one of Maria's best movies, I do realize it was based on a true story but not entertaining.
Published 18 months ago by nonia
4.0 out of 5 stars disturbing but good
I wasn't sure how I felt about this film, I needed some time to settle. Maria Bello did a superb job, really impressive how down a person could be. Read more
Published on February 17, 2012 by Karin Langenegger
2.0 out of 5 stars A muddle
The film is gritty and depressing. It is also very slow moving. The ending is basically revealed early on so the rest of the film is just leading up to what you know is going to... Read more
Published on January 6, 2012 by Drive-In Kid
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