Thursday, May 11, 2017

Directorial Debut: Patty Jenkins' MONSTER

Welcome to another installment of DIRECTORIAL DEBUT, where we look at some of the best, most interesting and iconic directors and the films that started their careers. This week we take a look at Patty Jenkins' brilliant and intriguing bio pic, MONSTER.

Monster explores the life of prostitute-turned-serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. When I think of serial killers, a man's face usually haunts my thoughts, but there are actually women serial killers out there, who are just as sadistic as the men who kill. However, I felt a great deal of empathy for Aileen Wuornos because of her abusive past.

Charlize Theron, who plays the part of Alieen, did a fantastic job portraying this complex character. She even won an Academy Award for Best Actress because of this performance. Theron is arguably one of the most attractive women in Hollywood, but I barely recognized her. Make-up and packing on 30 extra pounds for the role really made a difference here.

The plot of the film is heartbreaking to say the least; Aileen Wuornos was a prostitute from Daytona Beach who was convicted of killing six men. There is no justification for her killing these men; but she had a tragic life. However, people have to live with the choices they make. Obviously, she made many wrong choices.

This was the perfect film to be Jenkins's directorial debut because of its content and its exploration of the human mind and experience. She actually corresponded with Wuornos before writing and directing this film. That was a great move on her part because it added authenticity to the story.

Her next project was the pilot episode of THE KILLING; which was filmed in 2012. She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for that episode. Jenkins doesn't have an extensive resume, but that will soon change.

Jenkins is directing the upcoming summer blockbuster, Wonder Woman. This news excites me because I'm looking forward to the movie and I thought Monster was fantastic. I can't wait to see what she does with Wonder Woman.

Monster was definitely a fantastic start for her directing career. It received a 82% approval rating on 
Rotten Tomatoes. Film critics loved it; especially Theron's performance.  Roger Ebert wrote: "What Charlize Theron achieves in Patty Jenkins' 'Monster' isn't a performance but an embodiment... [It] is one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema."

Theron did a fantastic job with the character she was given to portray. This is definitely not a family movie. However, it's thought-provoking and has great acting. So if you haven't seen this yet, do yourself a favor and watch it.

Lisa's Score: 8/10

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