HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
Man from Snowy River, The
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo
Girl with the Bracelet, The
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Lizzie An Axe For Daddy
Year: 2018
Director: Craig William Macneill
Stars: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jeff Perry, Fiona Shaw, Jamey Sheridan, Tara Ochs, Kim Dickens, Daniel Wachs, Denis O'Hare, Jody Matzer, Don Henderson Baker, Jay Huguley, Roscoe Sandlin, Tom Thon, Katharine Harrington, Darin Cooper
Genre: Thriller, Historical, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1892, and in Massachusetts there lives the Borden family, father, stepmother and two grown daughters, who include Lizzie (Chloë Sevigny), who is not often rebellious, but feels the repression of her father Andrew (Jamey Sheridan) rather too often for her liking. He tends to order her life and that of sister Emma (Kim Dickens), all too aware of the suffering in a small community that two spinsters can endure, yet ironically controlling them both so that there is very little chance of them flying the nest. Even when Lizzie goes out on her own to the theatre one evening, it all goes horribly wrong, for she is humiliated thanks to a fit she takes in the auditorium...

But that is not what Lizzie Borden is famous for, and if you do know what she is famous for, you would be well ahead of the story in this historical piece. It had been the dream project of Sevigny for over a decade to make this, and originally it was to be shot for television, but HBO took so long to get around to it that they were beaten to the punch by a miniseries starring Christina Ricci. For a while it appeared as though she would never fulfil that wish, but after indie horror The Boy was a modest success, its director Craig William Macneill hopped aboard and finally brought the production to fruition. However, Sevigny was still not happy, despite getting to play Borden at last.

It did not matter so much that she was a decade older than the real Borden when the crimes were committed - Sevigny didn't resemble her too closely anyway - but what she had envisaged was a psychological thriller based in fact and theory about the murders Lizzie was tried for, and to link that in with the feminist reading of the case and how women who commit violence are not the same as men who commit violence, that sort of thing. What she got was a severely muted item of drama that only came alive, ironically, when the death was being doled out, unless you counted the sex scene between the star and her co-star, Kristen Stewart, who played maid Bridget Sullivan.

Now, since Borden was acquitted at her trial, there have been all sorts of musings published on what really happened that fateful day, and most of them involve Lizzie not being innocent at all, so you can imagine what she might have thought about that if she really had not been a murderer. We will never know, as certainly she was not the sole suspect, simply the most likely one, though if she genuinely was not the killer, such speculation as seen here was not as progressive as their theorists may have wanted to believe. Crime writer Ed McBain had concocted the "Lizzie was a lesbian" idea back in the eighties, and it had stuck to her legacy, such as it was, ever since, with some feminist views liking the idea since it looked as though she was sticking it to the patriarchy - indeed, that was Sevigny's take on it.

What appeared to have been the impetus for this work getting the go-ahead at last was the popularity of the Margaret Atwood television adaptation The Handmaid's Tale, which depicted a nightmare future world where women are second class citizens and routinely abused by the heartless men in charge. Here we saw a similar society, with Sheridan effectively hateful as the head of the family, and Denis O'Hare as uncle John Morse, in reality the other main suspect after Lizzie, who here is a horrendous misogynist but not capable of murder. This leads the two lead women to seek solace in each other's arms, and eventually take all their clothes off to turn to crime to extricate themselves from an impossible situation, yet there was very little nuance in spite of the reserved tone, which had it embraced the lurid would have been cartoonish, yet a darn sight more engrossing. It was a pity, Sevigny and Stewart were very strong but they were in the wrong film, something more passionate. Historically, it was dubious, by no means exclusive to this, but it seems staging the legendary nude murders enthused Macneill more than the politics. Music by Jeff Russo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 543 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: