Pretty Persuasion (2005)
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Evan Rachel Wood, David Wagner, Brent Goldberg, Elisabeth Harnois, Stark Sands, Jane Krakowski, Michael Hitchcock, Danny Comden, Jaime King, Josh Zuckerman, James Snyder, Ron Livingston, Cody McMains, Mike Erwin, James Woods, Selma Blair, Johnny Lewis, Lisa Arturo, Alex Désert, Tina Holmes, Perry Hayes, Clyde Kusatsu, Robert Joy, Navid Negahban, Octavia Spencer, Angelo Spizzirri, Jessica Landon, Michael Kozak, Julie Wittner, Shanna Olson, Christopher Thornton, Alexis Krause, Ira David Wood IV, David C. Taylor, Deprece Reddick, Aydiee Vaughn, Harley, Monty Buckles, Jake Hanover, Amber Matthews, Daniel A. Ortiz, Adi Schnall, Veena Bidasha, Tim Coston
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|Movie Review by Scott |
September 4th, 2005
Another Knock-Out performance by Evan Rachel Wood, in this cruel and raw dark comedy
I'll state this right off the bat, I am a big fan of Evan Rachel Wood and have been one since I first saw her in "Thirteen" a few years back. So nonetheless when I first heard about this movie at Sundance in January I was really excited to see it! 8 months later, the day finally arrived when I got to see Pretty Persuasion. Did it live up to all the Sundance hype? Was it as raunchy and controversial as critics were saying it was? Well continue reading to find out.
"Pretty Persuasion" is the story of Kimberly Joyce (Evan Rachel Wood), a non famous Beverly Hills High School student. Kimberly and her two friends Randa (Adi Schnall) and Brittany (Elisabeth Harnois) one day decide to start a scandal that will rock the entire town and the world. Kimberly is the mastermind of the plan that entitles accusing Mr. Anderson (Ron Livingston) of sexually harassing her and her friends. A raw, wicked and powerful film ensues...
The best thing about this movie is Evan Rachel Wood's performance! This girl deserves an academy award and I will not stop stating that until she gets one. I personally think she deserved one for her performance in "Thirteen" and I think she deserves one here as well. Her performance was raw, real and extremely convincing. She really played a character with a heart of coal. I mean this was a dark and evil character that didn't have any remorse for what she did. I applaud Evan Rachel Wood and I said this a few years ago and will say it again this girl is going to be a huge success later down the line because she has a huge amount of talent.
This movie is a really powerful film and even though it's a comedy it still leaves the audience with a powerful ending. The movie contains some of the crudest scenes I have ever seen in a movie. Some of the jokes in this movie are just so obscene that you don't know how to react. The movie also contains some of the longest and most awkward sex scenes I have ever seen in a film.
While this movie doesn't contain an overabundance of nudity, it doesn't contain a few too many sex scenes and only about two of the five sex scenes in the film really need to be there to make the film work. The others seem to be in there just so the director, Marcos Siega can make this film seem more raunchy and controversial because believe it or not Evan Rachel Wood isn't 18 yet and was only 15 or 16 when filming the sex scenes for this movie. While some of the scenes worked and were needed for the story, a lot of them were just used as an edgy time filler and didn't add anything to the story.
Other then the overabundance of sex scenes, this movie is pretty much near perfect. It is a very dark movie with great performances by not only Evan Rachel Wood but by James Woods, Adi Schnall, Ron Livingston, and Jane Krakowski. All of them give superb and believable performances. I really think the acting and how believable the characters were in this movie is what made this movie so great outside of the original and thought provoking script.
The screenplay was written by Skander Halim who did a wonderful job with it, not to mention how he tackled the subject matter at hand. This movie really makes its audience think about society in general and how everyone is so obsessed with celebrities and getting what they want. Not only that but the film also shows how messed up our priorities are in life. The father Hank played by James Woods doesn't even realize what his daughter is doing and how messed up his life really is. Not to mention the jokes that make the audience laugh but then feel extremely uncomfortable about laughing at them afterwards. It was a great and controversial screenplay.
So in conclusion, Pretty Persuasion is almost a perfect film with a great script and powerful and convincing performances. Its downfall though is that it tries too hard to be daring and edgy. Like I mentioned earlier if the sex was toned down more this film probably could have been a perfect film however because it contained so many scenes that I felt were so unnecessary I now have to low the film's rating a bit. This movie contains some of the most explicit language and jokes I have ever seen in a film so it is not for the weak hearted. This movie is very shocking and edgy so be forewarned before you hit the theater to see it. However, this movie on the whole is probably one of the best films I have seen this year and if you want something that isn't at all mainstream then check this film out because it truly is a great film.
MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Pretty Persuasion" is a 9/10
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