Savage Grace (Not Rated) 97 minutes B-
Love is the drug when incest is best
Starring Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Eddie Redmayne, Unax Ugalde, and Belen Rueda
Barbara (Julianne Moore) married up, she married Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), the heir to the Bakelite plastic fortune. Barbara adored her pampered lifestyle and social status just as much as she adored her husband.
Barbara and Brooks spawned an androgynous child named Tony (Eddie Redmayne). He describes himself as the steam when hot (his mother) meets cold (his father). But this sexually carnivorous young man is more like gasoline when fire meets more fire. Tony is the product of an overbearing mother and emotionally vacant father, and when the gravity of the situation becomes too much not even a mother's love is enough.
Based on the award winning book by Natalie Robins and Steven Aronson, this true story of incest, murder, and high society is totally engaging, disturbingly erotic, and a little off kilter.
The film spans 40 years and casting Julianne Moore in the lead role was borderline genius. Moore is an alluring and sexy woman whose beauty transcends time. Eddie Redmayne also pulls off a superb performance that's worthy of at least a few accolades come awards season in early 2009.
But Savage Grace reaches it's peak half way through the film, and the second half feels a little over dramatic and unbalanced. Everyone in this film is selfish and starving for love- so much so that the lines between love, lust, and pure insanity becomes blurred. Nevertheless it makes for an interesting film; one that is not for general audiences but recommended for it's disturbing exhibition of appalling real life dysfunction.