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Friday, August 9, 2013

Lovelace (2013)

A young Florida girl (Amanda Seyfried) falls under the spell of a seedy bar owner (Peter Sarsgaard). They get married and he builds her into the famous porn star known as Linda Lovelace, the star of DEEP THROAT. A rare narrative film by the documentary film makers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (LIFE AND TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, THE CELLULOID CLOSET), it's a two for one movie. The first part of the film charts Lovelace's entry into the porn business and her rise. The second part shoots back in time and shows us what went on behind closed doors and it's not a pretty picture. There are contradictions in Lovelace's allegations regarding her being forced into porn by Chuck Traynor. Yet there are others who collaborate her allegations. Whatever one chooses to believe, the film gives lie to the belief that porn is harmless and doesn't hurt anybody. The phone scene between Lovelace and her father (Robert Patrick) just about breaks your heart. There's a delicacy and an innocence innate in Seyfried that is in direct contrast to the real Lovelace, who was anything but. Still, she gives a gutsy performance that bodes well for her future as an actress. The film's biggest misstep is that Sarsgaard's Traynor is such an obvious scumbag that one wonders what Lovelace could possibly have been attracted to. Surely the film could have given him some level of charm or likability to mask the demon underneath. The large supporting cast includes Sharon Stone as Lovelace's coldly sanctimonious mother, James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Bobby Cannavale, Chris Noth, Chloe Sevigny, Wes Bentley, Debi Mazar, Hank Azaria, Juno Temple and Adam Brody.

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