This weekend's movie pick: Pretty Persuasion, a black comedy that sticks a knife in all the most sensitive acupuncture points of American culture: sexism, racism and numero uno-ism.
While I entered the theater with managed expectations thanks to MD'A's guarded recommendation, I walked out quite impressed.
The film's most noticeable quality was its unblinking intelligence. The dialogue was piercingly smart and its actors, especially the gasp-inducingly good Evan Rachel Wood as the lead femme fatale, brilliant in their multilayered performances (other stand-outs: a reveling-in-his-boorishness James Wood and the demure perfection of Adi Schnall as Muslim girl who falls prey to ERW's character's twisted cultural assimilation program). All its blistering wit is shrink-wrapped with sharply stylized art direction and cinematography that glistens and enchants, much like Kimberly Joyce--the center of this sardonic solar system. And it's sexy! Sexy and smart is the new black lace underwear, you know.
Of course, it's not perfect. I think the trigger-pulling moment went one step too far-fetched and the manipulative media maven thing has been done to death, but overall a very pretty package with a lot of important things to say. Kudos to director Marcos Siega and writer Skander Halim. I laughed. I winced. I nodded. I recommend(ed).
Up next: The Clog Master--a tale of not-so-pretty persuasion.