(out of 5)

Brutal, powerfully affecting account of the crime spree committed by Florida prostitute Aileen Wuornos is brought to life thanks to the unforgettable, tear-down-the-walls performance by an unrecognizable . Disappearing into the role under weight gain, dentures, bleached eyebrows, fake freckles and contacts, Theron does the unexpected and makes herself turn into the character without ever relying on the physical changes she has undergone:  the frightening look in her eyes and her stance are enough to convince you that she really is this person. Wuornos’ story begins after a lifetime of abuse and degradation, a point where she is ready to commit suicide but for the appearance of a woman () who truly loves her. The two fall in love, but things go awry when Wuornos starts killing the men who pay her for sex, at first in self-defense and then afterwards in cold blood. The film does a terrific job of showing us the pitiable aspects of its subject without soft-selling her more dirty deeds: this is not a plea for sympathy for someone who knew full well what she was doing, but more an examination of where a culture of class division, misogyny and abuse can lead. Ricci doesn’t fare as well as Theron, giving a performance not nearly weighty enough for a role which, to be fair, isn’t written with the same amount of complexity or depth as the lead’s is.

USA/Germany, 2003

Directed by 

Screenplay by Patty Jenkins

Cinematography by 

Produced by , , , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

Film Festivals:  Berlin 2004

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron as “Aileen Wuornos”)

Golden Globe Award
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Charlize Theron)

New York Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Actress (Charlize Theron)

Los Angeles Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Actress (Charlize Theron)

National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Actress (Charlize Theron)

National Board Of Review Award
Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress (Charlize Theron)

Berlin Film Festival Award
Silver Berlin Bear-Best Actress (Charlize Theron) (tie)

Screen Actors Guild Award
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron)

Independent Spirit Awards
Best Female Lead (Charlize Theron)
Best First Feature

Best First Screenplay

British Academy Award Nomination
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron)

Chicago Film Critics Award
Best Actress (Charlize Theron)



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