Sunday, July 26, 2009

Savage Grace

What a story of some eccentric lives! Savage Grace is based on the book of the same title. The story is of the real lives of Barbara Daly Baekeland, Brooks Baekeland, and Antony Baekeland played by Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, and Eddie Redmayne, respectively. Barbara is a controlling, unreasonable, and wild character who drives her husband away and has an incestuous relationship with her son. Brooks is a proud, serious, but a cold husband who doesn't really have a relationship with his son. Antony is an intelligent and well-educated homosexual born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He has complex relationships with his parents, loving them at times but also showing disdain and no respect for them on other occasions.

Without giving the ending away, I can say it's quite unexpected (unless you know about their lives already). The ending is not surprising because it does not wow you away, leaving you in shock. But it is a good ending--calm and unusual. I think SG is one of those movies that's good but something is missing. Maybe it's a little too clam for such an unique story and Julianne Moore's character a bit too irrational and unlikable. There are several things I like about the film though: the layout of the story and the design of the film.

The film is divided into chronological five segments each of a different location and a different year. You get to see five different cities from America and Europe including NYC, Paris, London, South of France, and Spain (I think...). Each segment also fast forwards five to ten years so that the first chapter, Antony was just born then Antony goes to middle school and so forth. With this story telling technique, the set designs changes in style as the years go by.
There are also gorgeous estates, beaches, gardens to be seen in the film. As a result, the film is also aesthetically pleasing to see.

One last thing--I love the title of this film: Savage Grace. All the characters have grace in that some are socially apt; some are intelligent; and others are cultured. But some of the actions that they choose to take are cruel and savage.

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