Title: Lovelace

Director: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

Starring: Amanda Seyfriedm Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Hank Azaria, Wes Bentley, Adam Brody, Bobby Cannavale, James Franco, Debi Mazar, Chris Noth, Robert Patrick, Eric Roberts, Chloe Sevigny.

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman won an Academy Award for Best Documentary with ‘Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt’ in 1989. Epstein also won an Oscar for the doc ‘The Times of Harvey Milk’ and he made an amazing job in his transition to scripted narratives, with the biopic ‘Howl’ – the award-winning film about Allen Ginsberg’s controversial poem by the same name. The director-duo has ultimately made an extremely powerful biopic on the story of the lead actress of ‘Deep Throat.’

Linda Lovelace, is shown as the sweet girl next door, crushed by her duty to obey her husband, who moulded her into the most famous porn actress of all times. Linda was used and abused by the porn industry at the behest of her coercive spouse and self-declared manager, Chuck Traynor, before taking control of her life. ‘Lovelace’ shows how the fragile woman who became an infamous porn star, breaks free from her consort and discloses the truth in order to prevent other women from getting similarly exploited.

The drama swifts back and forth through time, with the delicacy of a rotoscope and the outstandingly credible make believe footage of a 70s super 8. The story is about blatant sex, but there is not one vulgar sequence, no intercourse is forthrightly slapped on the screen. Probably the sexual frames are the only ironic or tender moments of the movie, and as soon as violence starts to take over sexuality the camera gently swifts to the next scene.

The actors are outstanding. Amanda Seyfried undertook a total makeover: brown hair, brown contact lens, some additional freckles. She is as graceful as a princess in depicting the porn-diva with charm, naivety and feeling. Peter Sarsgaard is disquieting and multifaceted. He doesn’t deliver the stereotypical version of the violent husband: he gives many shades to Chuck Traynor, making us understand why Linda was initially deceived in thinking he was a gentleman. The utmost flabbergasting performance is by sex symbol Sharon Stone, who has warped all her seductive features to embody Dorothy Boreman, the harsh and domineering disciplinarian mother of Linda. Robert Patrick, who is more of the rock n’roll type, also had a complete changeover, to impersonate the quiet and resigned father of Linda, police officer John Boreman. British actress Juno Temple, who raised to worldwide stardom fairly quickly, is impeccable as Linda’s best friend Patsy. Former ‘Sex & the City’ “Mr Big” – Chris Noth – seems somehow out of place in the role of Anthony Romano, the mob porn producer, just as James Franco is a little plethoric in his impersonation of Hugh Hefner. But you can perceive they’re enjoying themselves; probably not as much as the former O.C. Idol, Adam Brody, who acts as Linda’s co-star of ‘Deep Throat,’ the actual porn actor who gets the “Lovelace treatment,” Harry Reems.

Seems like the sordid celebrity aftermath of the brief career of the world’s porn star, who used the Lovelace nome de plume, is about to become a phenomena, since ‘Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story,’ is in development, directed by Matthew Wilder, starring Malin Akerman as Linda and Matt Dillon as Chuck.

Technical: A

Acting: A

Story: A

Overall: A

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi


By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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