Alberta Watson

Alberta Watson

Alberta Watson Quick Links

News Film RSS

Spanking the Monkey Review


Good
Like trip-hop group Massive Attack, David O. Russell started off quiet and slowly became loud as all get-out. With all the craziness and banter that came out over Russell's philosophical slapstick masterpiece I Heart Huckabees, it's hard to believe that his foray began with this very quiet, very shocking film. Even the settings seem to have slowly become more and more convoluted: Spanking the Monkey was filmed in a quiet, almost-Podunk town in upstate New York, I Heart Huckabees is set in the sprawling, bombastic landscape of Los Angeles. However many differences I can name, there's no denying that both films are Russell's; they both exude a peculiarity and hypnotic style that piss plenty of people off.

Raymond (Jeremy Davies) is prepping himself for a very rewarding medical internship when his father, Tom (Benjamin Hendrickson), insists that he return home to take care of his sick mother (Alberta Watson) who has broken her leg. As all college students are, Ray becomes randy and hormonal with mounting professional frustration, the constant physical contact with his mother and the inclusion of Toni (Carla Gallo), a high school student that he tries to deflower. The rest of the movie is, essentially, leading up to the big climax of Ray getting frisky with his mom in an incestuous, liquor-driven free-for-all. It's easily one of the more interesting films about oedipal relations, but there are problems.

Continue reading: Spanking the Monkey Review

The Life Before This Review


Good
Scene 1: Robbers on the run bust into a coffee shop and kill everyone, including themselves. Scenes 2-120: Time rolls back to reveal what happened earlier that day to everyone in the shop, including the robbers. Only the outcome may not be quite the same... Overwrought yet still engaging, this Sliding Doors-esque picture has been done time and time again (no pun intended), but it still manages to keep a certain level of charm. Thanks to a lot of really good actors like Polley, Rea, and O'Hara, The Life Before This is a bit more than just a gimmick.

Spanking the Monkey Review


Good
Probably the best mother-son incest movie ever made, and I mean that from the heart. Incidentally, this is David O. Russell's first film, launching his career as a purveyor of the truly bizarre.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Review


Excellent
Following the success of Hedwig and the Angry Inch Off-Broadway and in other major cities comes this colorfully energetic filmed adaptation. Written, directed by, and starring the original, ever-talented John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig delivers the guilty pleasure of entertainment through another's pain.

The brassy title derives from the fact that Hedwig, born Hansel, underwent an unsuccessful sex change operation when marrying an officer to flee an oppressive, still-halved Berlin. His childhood isn't a pretty picture, so it's easy enough to imagine the desperation strong enough to drive him towards accepting the drastic change. Hansel wouldn't have had a problem adapting to womanhood as he considered himself a "girly boy" anyway, but with a one-inch penis and no breasts, his difficulties increase.

Continue reading: Hedwig and the Angry Inch Review

Deeply Review


Grim
I mention Kirsten Dunst and you probably think... remote fishing village with an ancient curse. Right?

Points for trying to avoid the cruel typecasting fate of Freddy Prinze Jr., but Dunst is pretty far from her element here. As a girl named Silly (Silly!), Dunst takes center stage in a tale told by Lynn Redgrave's aging Celia -- part fiction, part legend. The fishing village where she lives, it is told, has a dark past, caused by an ancient curse that causes the fish to vanish from the local waters once every 50 years. The only way to banish the curse is to sacrifice a girl in the water. And guess who's turn it is to go?

Continue reading: Deeply Review

Tart Review


Grim
Misleading title alert!

Not only does the provocative title of Tart mislead us, but the packaging features a lithe Dominique Swain on its covers, her schoolgirl skirt blowing up to expose her panties. The tagline: "Sex, Drugs and Study Hall."

Continue reading: Tart Review

Sweet Angel Mine Review


Good
Offbeat Canadian thriller (in the grand tradition of offbeat Canadian thrillers) is reminiscent of Psycho, Sleepwalkers, and Offbeat French thriller See the Sea. When a young man travels through Nova Scotia on motorcycle in search of his missing father, he stumbles upon a small farm run by a woman and her daughter. He signs on for a brief tour of duty and gets far more than he bargained for. (Isn't this always the case with these remote farms?) Taut and deeply disturbing, if not entirely believable. Recommended if you can find it on cable.

Hedwig & The Angry Inch Review


OK

While watching "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," all kinds of poster-quote comparisons popped into my head to describe this weird and wry, sardonic and ironic concoction of transsexual punk rock melancholy-mirth.

It has the cult potential (and off-Broadway origins) of a "Rocky Horror," but while it is similarly a low-budget, tongue-in-cheek musical centered around gender confusion, it's far more sagacious and polished.

I toyed with calling it the anti-"Josie and the Pussycats," since it's the polar opposite of that recent flop's backhanded endorsement of rock'n'roll commercialism and capricious pop pap. But "Hedwig" is such a uniquely entertaining and original work of musical-dramedy invention, it deserves better than to be compared to anything that has come before it.

Continue reading: Hedwig & The Angry Inch Review

Alberta Watson

Alberta Watson Quick Links

News Film RSS