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"To Die For"

Perhaps I only like kooky films these days, but I found To Die For a mild disappointment. There was nothing desperately wrong with it, and I quite like the idea of the story unfolding as Nicole Kidman videoed a CV and her relatives gave interviews to the media, both in response to the events of the film.
This probably made up half the film – the other half was the events themselves, told through flashbacks.

The problem was it didn’t really work for me. Nicole Kidman’s character Suzanne Stone simply didn’t hang together very well. On the one hand utterly failing to understand a fairly simple anecdote, but on the other hand a criminal mastermind. Ok, so the latter point is an exaggeration, but I found it jarring none-the-less. By a similar token, there was no real suspense in the film… the opening credits told you what had happened and who did it, the rest of the time was filling in the blanks. Somehow when American Beauty did this it was “wow – how’s this journey going to work”.. when To Die For did it it was “who cares?”.

Her motivation for killing her husband was also flimsy in the extreme, and while her method was believable, and well played out on camera, she really didn’t come across as that much of a psychopath. It was just a bit too hammy for my liking. The two huge stars where Joaquin Phoenix (already a fan of his) and Illeana Douglas, who were the only two people who didn’t look like they were acting. Everyone else could have been on the set of Friends, really.

The ending was very nicely done too – full marks for that. Watch it if it’s on telly, otherwise find another!

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