Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Neon Demon - DVD Review

Starring Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Desmond Harrington, Karl Glusman and Christina Hendricks.
Written by Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws & Polly Stenham.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.


Wow. Nicholas Winding Refn is one pretentious, ambitious, vainglorious artiste (if it's not obvious from when he puts his initials NWR under the title). The guy knows how to set up beautiful and disturbing imagery. The more movies he makes, the more experimental he seems to get, which is fine if you can sweep your audience up in your vision.

This movie focusses on Jesse (Elle Fanning), a teenage model who's just arrived in Los Angeles and finds instant success, creating jealousy among the other models in her social circle. She's taken under the wing of Ruby (Jena Malone), a make-up artist who may want her for herself. This movie has a lot to say about beauty, about artifice, and about obsession.

As for Refn's filmography, this isn't near as good as Drive, and it isn't near as bad as Only God Forgives. I couldn't really get lost in the story, as I was too aware of a director lurking over every frame, and it gets kinda porny, but I give him points for boldness.

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