Lovelace: "You See That, That Is Art"

Director: Rob Epstein
               Jeffrey Friedman
Writer:    Andy Bellin
Starring: Amanda Seyfried
               Peter Sarsgaard
               Sharon Stone
               Robert Patrick
               Juno Temple
               Adam Brody
               Hank Azaria
               Bobby Cannavale
               Debi Mazar
               James Franco 
               Chloe Sevigny
Rating:    ****

Release Date: 23/08/2013

When you hear the name Linda Lovelace you instantly think about that one thing that she did, that one thing that shocked, captivated and amazed audiences worldwide. I am not going to go into huge detail, but if you Google her, you will soon discover what it was that she did. It was an act that followed her around her entire life, something she embraced as well as tried to forget and educate people on. She shot to fame and from the outside looking in, Linda Lovelace was living a fantastic life. What noone really know was that behind closed doors her life was a dark, terrifying and gruelling experience, all thanks to her controlling husband.

Peter Sarsgaard & Amanda Seyfried
Linda Boreman (Seyfried) is a sweet, naive and fun-loving teenage girl, she hangs out with friends, goes dancing and does what any normal teenager does. One night she meets a handsome and mysterious stranger, this stranger turns out to be her future husband, Chuck Traynor (Sarsgaard). He treats her well, they soon get married and they support each other in life. He stands by her as she films her first film, he is by her side as she shoots to fame, and through it all he is nothing but supportive; if not slightly overprotective. This is the picture the first half of the film paints, This is the side we all knew about.

The film then takes a sharp turn back to the beginning and we then see how he really treated her. He stole from her, beat her, threatened her life, prostituted her and even had her gang raped. The facade they had both put up was nothing but a lie. The woman we see is a happy, care-free, bambi-like woman; thrust into the limelight and turned into a controversial star. Realistically she was forced into this life, and it was the seventeen days she spent in the porn industry, seventeen days her forced her into, that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

It is a truly harrowing and emotional story, something that came across superbly on the screen. However just a scene became emotional or intense it cut and we moved somewhere else. I just feel more could have been done to create more empathy for Lovelace and her story had so much more to tell, that I personally feel was left out unnecessarily. Despite the lack of fluidity and deeper realism I have to say that Amanda Seyfried blew me away. I am aware how relevant that statement is, I didn't intend this, but i just lucked out I guess. She provides a genuine character for the audience to love and feel for; her deepest emotion are put onto the screen for all to view and no stone goes unturned. She packs the punches and if it wasn't for her, I don't believe the story would've come to life as well as it has.

Peter Sarsgaard portrays Chuck Traynor with such venom and hatred that you can't help but wish Lovelace had put a bullet in him at some point in her life. He brings a sinister darkness to the role, one that he hides away until alone with Linda; he is a true movie villain, which makes it much harder to watch knowing that in reality this all actually happened. 

Sharon Stone
I also must add that I was surprised and moved by Sharon Stone's performance as Linda's mother. I've never really seen any of Stone's work so was unsure on what her performance would be like. Her character is truly stuck between a rock and a hard place within the story; whether to save her daughter or keep up appearances. I personally don't agree with the choice her mother makes, however back then times were different and things like divorce were extremely taboo. I personally feel that Stone brings a reserved rawness and deep felt emotion to the story, making such an awful decision, to send your daughter back to a life of abuse, cannot be easy; and the emotional effect it has on her character is plastered all over Stones face from the get go.

I'll admit that some of the director's choices and decisions, like not letting the scenes play out longer, I didn't particularly like. But then dealing with a story this dark must be hard to direct, and that's not taking into account that the story is real and there are family members who probably don't want to be reminded of the traumas Linda went through. Despite these minor faults The cast do a superb job at bringing this horrific story to life, with heartfelt performances and raw reactions. It is a terrible tale, but one that needed to be told; whether it to finally put Linda's true story out there, or for it to be a cautionary tale for other women. Whatever the reason I truly believe that is a film that will go down in history and be remembered for years to come, just like Linda's first movie did.

Lovelace - Trailer