Even if you have no interest in the movie I urge you to scroll down to check out the incredible collection of poster art for this. Nicolas Winding-Refn is back with his version of a graphic horror movie set in the world of fashion and modeling. It was one of the most visually stunning and divisive movies of the year. Personally, I was a big fan. It was like 70's European art-house mixed with Miami Vice visuals if it was shot by Cronenberg and Carpenter jointly.
An aspiring 16-year-old model (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, where she quickly finds success after she is discovered by a makeup artist (Jena Malone) and signed by an agent (Christina Hendricks). However, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
If you’re not a Winding-Refn fan (and I mean all of his movies, not just Drive) then this probably isn’t for you. Even among his fans there was a mixed reaction to this. It’s way heavier on visuals than it is on story which if nothing else has been amusing just for the reviews where you can see how much everyone projected their own shit onto the movie. Those visuals are glorious. You don’t even have to have to have the sound on to make this engaging. There’s nothing I can say to adequately describe how gorgeous and stylish I thought the whole thing looked.
The acting is really good as well. Jena Malone delivers the performance of her career to date. Hell, she has one scene in here (and everyone who’s seen it knows exactly which one I mean) that she’ll be remembered for the rest of her life. Elle Fanning continues to grow as an actress. She does some very cool subtle stuff here. Keanu is fantastic as sort of a comic relief role that offsets the intensity of much of what else is going on. Desmond Harrington (Dexter) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) both have minor but pivotal roles. And Abbey Lee was something of a revelation for me here. She’s really good and apparently as a former model herself had heavy input into the story to keep the modeling portion of the story authentic.
Complimenting all those visuals is an equally magnificent and moody soundtrack and a score by the amazing Cliff Martinez whose work I’ve fallen for over the last few years.
If you’re not going into it expecting something profound and are looking for something visually stimulating and perhaps even a bit shocking for some then there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this. It’s definitely interesting and has a hell of an ending.