*** Official MONSTER Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Mikel_Cooperman, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

    Jan 16, 2001
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    Saw this last night and I have to say as Ebert and Roeper did that Charlize Theron should win the Oscar this year.
    Her performance is more than having made her look ugly. She tranforms herself and I have seen a better performance this year.
    The only bad thing is that we dont get to form an emotional attachment to Aileen which I think could have made the movie pack more of a punch and Christina Ricci bugged me but I definitely reccomend this movie.
  2. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

    Jun 28, 2000
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    I found Monster sometimes compelling, but Jenkins walks a dangerous line between humanizing and justifying Wuornos. The lead performances are great, but they're let down by an otherwise amateurish production.
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    I found the intentional/unintentional humor in the film a little distracting given the character study at play in the film.

    Theron does lose herself in this role of (probably) her life because she disappears and all you see is Wuornos, who has many sides of inner conflict (of hurt, pain, childhood emotional trauma, delusion, low self-esteem, self-loathing) on full display, and the screenplay probably makes Wuornos more sympathetic than you'd normally consider for a serial killer.

    The character of Selby was very frustrating because she's basically a useless person in this film.

    Theron's performance is the high point of the film, but it doesn't have the narrative urgency it should have given the subject matter and the crimes involved, and the psychological study of how things got out of hand for Wuornos.

    Theron is a lock for a Best Actress Oscar nod because I doubt there is another as courageous lead actress performance this year in any other film I've seen in 2003.

    Here's my mini-review from the Alternative Films thread:

  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Monster". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    Monster is a career defining film for Charlize Theron. As Aileen Wuornos, Ms. Theron gives a virtuoso performance like no other actress I have seen in 2003. Patty Jenkins’ film presents the circumstances leading to her slow descent and her criminal acts.

    It is compelling in many ways because Jenkins was able to present these not as justifications for her actions but more as insights and quiet observations. The love story involving Christina Ricci’s character is yet another aspect into this troubled woman’s life while piercing into the vulnerability of another.

    It is a tragic story all around for everyone involved especially the innocent that died. But this modern-day real life story of a serial killer surprisingly offers some depth amidst all the chaos.

  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Feb 12, 1998
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    Reminder: This is an official Review thread.

    Anything that isn't a member review belongs in the corresponding Discussion thread. The link is above. As is clearly stated in every Review thread, anything other than a member review will be deleted.

  7. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

    Aug 10, 2003
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    Just like Tom Cruise did in Born on the Fourth of July, Charlize Theron shows in Monster that she is more than a pretty face. She plays Aileen Wournos, a prostitute in Southern Florida in the 1980's who was executed for killing 7 men. While the physical transformation is stunning, involving a weight gain of 30 pounds and various adjustments to her skin, its the emotional undercurrent that Miss Theron displays that makes this performance one for the ages.

    Aileen is down to her last $5. She decides that she is going to go spend it and then kill herself. However, fate intervenes, and provides her with a reason to stay alive in the form of Selby Wal, played by Christina Ricci. The two women instantly connect and an unlikely relationship is born. From this ray of hope, Aileen begins to believe that life will turn out all right for her.

    But once again, life has decided to play a cruel trick on her. All of her life, she has been damaged physically and psychologically to the point where she doesn't know what normal is. Aileen, desperate to prove to Selby that she can provide for her, spends the day after they meet hooking, to get money so they can go out. All does not go well. The last guy that picks her up has no intention of just having sex with her. He ties her up and prepares to kill her. She breaks free and kills him with the gun she carries around. This event begins the downward spiral that culminates in 6 more men dead.

    After this killing, we see Aileen trying to go the straight route to provide for her and Selby. However, nothing goes right. Aileen is unable to grasp how to go about in the mainstream world. We watch with a sense of uneasiness and dread as Aileen humiliates herself in interview after interview. Reluctantly, Aileen turns back to what she knows; being a prostitute.

    Miss Theron plays Aileen as a person who never got a fair shake in life. Her dreams and hopes dashed as a child, she grows up not knowing what it is like to have encouragement and people helping her cope with life.

    Other critics have called Miss Ricci's performance bad. I disagree. She plays Selby as someone who is trying to sort out who she is sexually. Selby kind of knows what is going on, but doesn't quite understand it. It's this naiveness that makes her performance great.

    Patty Jenkins does a great job in writing and directing a movie that somehows elicts empathy and sympathy for a character that by all means, deserves none based on what she did.

    If there is any justice in the world, Miss Theron will not only be nominated for Best Actress, but walk away with the Oscar on the night of February 29th. This is one of the best performances, male or female, in movie history.

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