Biography / Drama


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October 13, 2013 at 8:54 am


James Franco as Hugh Hefner
Juno Temple as Patsy
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754.50 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 33 min
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1hr 33 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Trentflix 7 / 10

Compelling indictment of marital abuse. Sundance 2013

I attended Lovelace at Sundance not knowing too much about the story of Linda Lovelace. Linda Lovelace is the most famous pornography star of all time because of the film Deep Throat (1972) which became wildly popular with mainstream audiences and brought pornography into popular culture. More than an indictment of the pornography business, this film is an indictment and expose on spousal abuse. Linda married young and was sexually and physically abused by her husband throughout her marriage. She was forced into doing these films and acts. She eventually found the courage to leave her husband and wrote a tell-all which is what this movie is based on.

The way this story was structured keeps it interesting and revelatory, and tonally the film is in accordance with her life. Things start off happy and there are lots of funny moments but soon enough things take a turn for the worse and that is where the true drama ensues.

Amanda Seyfried may not seem like the right choice for the role but she handles herself and the material with ease. She does a fabulous job evoking a wide range of emotions and brings her performance to a previously unseen level (at least, from what I've seen of hers). Peter Sarsgaard naturally exudes kindness and charm, we are seduced by it as she is, yet when the time calls for it he is rightly overpowering and terrifying.

Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman started off making documentaries that were both important and compelling. They made the switch to traditional narrative films with Howl which showcased their talent but Lovelace is further proof that they are multi-talented and continuing to grow in skill.

The film does leave out a few things, most likely for the sake of the narrative, Linda was forced to participate in several short pornography loops before she appeared in Deep Throat, including a bestiality film. She also made two movies after Deep Throat (including Deep Throat II).

The film has instant notoriety for its connection to Deep Throat and hopefully this will drive a bigger audience to it but it will likely gain some controversy as well for its association (in fact there was a small group protesting it at the premiere which is utterly ridiculous). I hope this film gets a large audience as marital abuse in its many forms is far too common a problem and needs to be brought to the forefront of discussion.

Reviewed by figment freud 2 / 10

Aw Come On Now, This Is Silly...

First off, the real Linda Lovelace changed her story a bunch of times throughout her life (including the FOUR autobiographies she wrote): which one are we to believe? Porn star Linda? Born again Christian Linda? Feminist Linda? Aging and short of cash Linda? The problem with this movie is it treats even the most bizarre tales spun by Lovelace as the God's own truth, even though everyone else involved in any of the porn productions she was involved in refute just about all of it.

Secondly, Amanda Seyfried is way too pretty and childlike to play Lovelace with any kind of credibility. The real Linda Lovelace always bordered on the creepy, haggard and slightly cross-eyed, and it was only her (then) highly unusual ability to 'deep throat' that she had going for her - at least the film got that part right.

Her endless self-victimizing tales, such as her porn shoots being filmed with a gun LITERALLY pressed to her head, and her becoming the most famous porn star in the world only out of fear that her family might be murdered(?), run contrary to the reports of almost everyone else she worked with, who considered this woman - who'd previously had sex with a dog on camera (oh yes, THAT wasn't mentioned in the film, was it?)- to be an inveterate liar and a 'sexual super-freak'. In her private life too, every time any of her apparently happy marriages ended, she played the victim all over again and alleged abuse from pretty much every man she was ever involved with right up until the end of her life - including Larry Marchiano, her 'happy ending' at the end of this film.

Lovelace was a very sad character wanting more than anything approval, sympathy and attention and apparently just said whatever she thought a 'good girl' should say in whatever circles she moved. As her fellow adult actress Gloria Leonard said, "This was a woman who never took responsibility for her own choices made, but instead blamed everything that happened to her in her life on porn." The story of her need to present herself in such a way, why she did it and the fall-out such behaviour caused to everyone else around her would have made a far better film.

I liked the 70s period detail, and there are some funny lines from Boardwalk Empire's Bobby Cannavale and Hank Azaria, but they're way out of place in such an oppressive, lurid nightmare fantasy depicting all the Boogie Nights-style shenanigans as simply abuse. By swallowing every bizarre allegation from this one deeply unreliable source and making her story exclusively one of victimhood we are infantilizing a grown woman, treating her even after death as a sexless child who never grew up and I found this deeply unpleasant to have to sit through.

Most of all I found it insulting to be presented with the self-pitying excuses of a pathological liar depicted as objective reality. There was absolutely no point to this movie being made, it says nothing of any value and doesn't even entertain. It was a waste of everyone's time and money, including mine.

Reviewed by chicagopoetry 6 / 10

Lovelace: An Odd Bipolar Biopic

Lovelace is an odd film in that it's really two films wrapped into one. The first film is a rather light 70s set piece about the porn business very reminiscent of the film Boogie Nights, with great performances by Mama Mia's Amanda Seyfried (holding her own even though she is much too pretty to play Linda Lovelace) as well as Peter Sarsgaard as her creepy husband who has no qualms about prostituting his wife out for a buck. Sharon Stone is just fantastic as Linda's mother (you won't even recognize her) and Robert Patrick (of Terminator 2) as her father, and the supporting cast is also perfect, including Boardwalk Empire's Bobby Cannavale and even James Franco playing Hugh Hefner. There is a bit of foreshadowing about what the second film is going to be about, such as when Linda's co-star alludes to the bruises on Linda's leg and also some questionable looks by her husband, but otherwise the movie plays out as a strongly R-rated biopic delivering quite a few laughs.

Then, suddenly, we are thrown into the second film, a PG-13 Lifetime Network-like drama including violins playing. The second film retells the first film, showing the behind the scenes abuse Linda receives from her husband and portraying Linda as someone who is doing it all reluctantly and is trying to escape the porn business. The stark contrast between the second and first films would be more effective if the second film wasn't so formulaic--it even has a gift wrapped happy ending. I imagine the truth of Linda's life falls somewhere in the middle, with Linda's own bad judgment playing at least some part in her life's situation. Unfortunately, although Amanda Seyfried is lovely in the first film as the naive young newlywed getting caught up in the porn business, she isn't reinvented and just doesn't transcend in the more watered down drama of second film like, say, Charlize Theron was in the film Monster. There just aren't any great performance by anyone in the second film as a matter of fact and the scenes that are suppose to be brutal just aren't. When it comes to showing the ugly side of the porn biz this film peters out.

Lovelace, therefore, stands as a slightly above average and obviously heavily fictionalized biopic, when it could and should have been much more, if only some more guts were put into the second half of it.

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