Wicked (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
This is an OK, but not great, little movie that didn't get beyond the film festival circuit for two main reasons:
1. It's demented. You think a lot of middle class mainstream Americans will pony up their bucks for a film about a 14 year old girl who kills her mom so she can screw her dad, then uses the sexual relationship with her dad to blackmail him into doing what she wants? America is growing up, but not that fast.
|2. It's OK, but not good enough to overcome the inherent commercial liability of the theme. If Nabokov's Lolita couldn't find a mass audience, how could this? If I were a distributor, I wouldn't take a chance on this kind of concept. It isn't worth the hassle.||
|It has some weaknesses
that keep it from playing out as a thriller.
The first plot twist is completely obvious. We aren't supposed to know that Julia killed her bitchy mom. After all, mom was fucking half the neighborhood, and both the dad and the au pair hated her more than Julia, but the film never made more than a half-hearted attempt at misdirection. The second plot twist was also telegraphed. We aren't supposed to be sure that the dad had sex with Julia after mom's death, but the film again made it too obvious.
On the other hand, some of the twists at the end of the movie were quite delicious, when more bodies started turning up. Who exactly killed whom, and why?
|But I don't think the movie is meant
to play out primarily as a thriller. I think it was meant to be seen
as a black comedy, and is pretty black, if not that comic. What it
lacks in brilliance, it certainly makes up in perversity. It is
slickly filmed and conceived under the direction of Michael Steinberg,
who also directed the vastly underrated film, The Waterdance. It is
very well performed by some of the actors, especially Julia Stiles who
did a convincing job as a cold-hearted adult in the body of a kid,
with plenty of kid still stuck in there with her.
On the other hand, some of the characters, like the au pair, are written confusingly, so that we never know whether they are essentially good people, or what. Is the au pair a gold digger, or does she really love the kids? You never are sure.
If the plot description doesn't completely put you off, you could watch this just on the strength of Stiles' performance.
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