Lizzie (2018)

Craig William Macneill directs Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart and Jay Huguley in this period drama following the build up and fallout of the Lizzie Borden scandal; where a well to do society daughter was accused of killing her father and step mother with an axe in 1892.

Very quiet screening for this at the Filmhouse. I guess with the higher profile lesbian themed Disobedience on in the neighbouring screen and the bigger name period bisexual romps The Favourite and Colette looming also, that there is only so much audience for four surface level similar releases. Established stars going sapphic… me being a dedicated trooper I’ve somehow managed to catch all of them on the big screen. I’m nothing if not a completist. This is a relatively lifeless exploration of the Borden murders. It is patient, humanist, well acted and evocatively lit. The sex scene is tasteful. The only time the film seems to have any vim or vigour is the imagined murder conspiracy where the girls strip off and get bloody. Even that’s not as fun as it could be. The film is pre-occupied with exploring the limited options available to single women in the period, how easy it was for men to control and exploit them. It admirably achieves that but you yearn for Christina Ricci’s far trashier, ignoble take on the subject.

5

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