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Folie a deux or Gatsby on heroin...riveting but not exactly warm and lighthearted!
on September 6, 2014
Incestuous folie a deux- not the feel-good movie of the year... the ending reminded me of "Sid & Nancy" in that it conveyed claustrophobic dysfunction and sickness a little too well. Two people glued together by intertwined pathology that feels like love to them and they're shut into their own world. Makes you feel icky,then makes you grateful for normality, even when it's dull. There's one scene where you wonder "are they going to play out this whole incident in real time? Do I really need to see all this?" But then you realize that it puts the viewer right in the mode and feeling of their sickness and is very effective.
You have to really be curious about dark psychology and the dysfunction of the ultra-rich to watch this film. Since I am, I found this riveting, but I think most people will find it stomach-turning and pointless if you're not interested in true crime. This motivated me to get the book; if you're the type fascinated by Truman Capote and his circle of "swans", you will want to as well. It's like Gatsby on heroin or something... good, but gnarly and not exactly life-affirming.
Moore is amazing; and the real Barbara Baeklund was a striking redhead, too, so it works visually also. There are some odd bits of acting, which may or may not be accurate, by various characters. Perhaps these "cafe Society" types were this stilted and contrived, it's plausible. Hard to judge...
This is a memorable depiction of a surreal family tragedy. Now that I'm reading the book, I'd say they condensed it well, certain details are altered,yet it's true in spirit to the story. I recommend this with the above cautions for the right audience.