Friday, May 3, 2019

Her Smell - Movie Review

The Movie: Her Smell

The Director: Alex Ross Perry

The Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin, Ashley Benson, with Eric Stoltz and Amber Heard

The Story: A self-destructive punk rocker struggles with sobriety while trying to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success.

The Review:
This is one of those movies that sort of sneaks up on you and tears apart your emotional fabric but in the best way possible. Writer and director Alex Ross Perry has built a story around the collapse of a punk rock star, played exquisitely by Elizabeth Moss, who has a talent for drug induced, epic breakdowns that alienate everyone around her.

The swirling narrative is dizzying at times both visually and emotionally as we watch the eccentric singer spiral into oblivion and then becomes more steady and sure handed as she enters into recovery and a new found peaceful sanity. The cinematography at the beginning reminds me a little bit of how Birdman was filmed, minus the extended takes, with the choreographed chaos of Climax thrown in for added effect and it all works perfectly to capture Moss' captivating performance.

I know Elizabeth Moss is currently very well known for her work in The Handmaid's Tale and a lot of people will flock to this film for that very reason, but she has been a constant presence in both TV and film for many years and, quite frankly it's about time she gets recognized for her work. What she does with this character should be dissected and studied by anyone and everyone who might even have the thought that they want to become an actor.

What really stood out to me was how she was able to give her character a sense of humanity and artistic genius layered underneath the drug fueled tirades and mental explosions that could otherwise have come across as brutally crass and inexcusably inappropriate. Sure, as you watch, you'e thinking who the hell is this crazy bitch, but you can also see the agonizing struggle that she is going through to not be the person that is constantly sabotaging everything and everyone around her.

Speaking of everyone around her, the surrounding ensemble cast is pretty outstanding as well. I mean, when you have Eric Stoltz as a punk rock record label executive, you know you're on the right track and it was great to see him on screen since I don't know when. Also on board is Dan Stevens who we all know and love from The Guest, Ashley Benson from Spring Breakers, the perfectly cast Cara Delevingne as a punk rock band member, Amber Heard also perfectly cast as a glam rock super star, and Virginia Freakin' Madsen just to name a few.

The Verdict:
Go see this movie, it's really good and Elizabeth Moss is amazing. The story is so authentic and feels more real than real biopics all the way down to the t-shirts and album overs. Yeah ,this movie rocks.

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