To Die For (1995)

To Die For (1995), directed by Gus Van Sant.


First impressions, in one word? You really want to know? Four letters, begins with "c"... Cold. C-O-L-D. Cold.

A satire tends to be about just one thing and it is sometimes hard to sustain for a full length feature film. When skilfully done -- as in this case -- we explore the ramifications.

Here the main target of the satire is the narcissistic obsession with "you are no one unless you are on TV", but we also have:

Nicole Kidman is a superstar. As such it is hard to critique her acting: she gets no ensemble scenes, but is the magnetic focus of attention whenever she's on. That doll-like face and her control over a powerful sexuality: they tend to cloud our judgment.

Being so famous it is wrong to say she is underappreciated, but I think her acting will be better regarded after the passage of time. Here she just nails the role of a dim-bulb beauty who employs death-ray intensity to get what she wants. For comedy she tends to say profoundly inappropriate things which other people think but don't speak. When you think it can't get any worse, she takes a boom box to her husband's funeral and plays "All By Myself".


Available on Blu-ray. LPCM audio track, ugly subtitles against a black stripe.