(Air Date: Week Of 6/26/96)
Just got the May issue of "Films In Review" last Friday. As usual, it featured pages and pages about the so-called golden age of Hollywood, attenuated reviews of movies that have been out for months and a colour cover shot of Dian Hanson. (Who?) But this quaint little publication also seemed to contain a few words of warning for folks like, well, me. It appears that contributor Rocco Simonelli is steamed about audience members with the NOIVE not to like Michael Winterbottom's "Butterfly Kiss" starring Amanda Plummer and Saskia Reeves. Says Rocco: "It's viewers such as yourselves who are the true cause of Hollywood's decline in recent years, its pervasive unwillingness to take chances. The next time you're bitching about the tedium and lack of imagination embodied by most Hollywood fare, remember it was YOU who wielded the knife."
Gee, Rocco, I thought that was Amanda! As far as I can recall, I sent all my knives to the cleaners before I saw "Butterfly Kiss". Even if it didn't have Michael Winterbottom's mitts all over it, you wouldn't have to tell me it was a guy who came up with yet another psycho Lesbian movie. What is so daring and innovative about "Basic Instinct" or "Single White Female"? Lesbian loony tunes have been around at least as long as the early days of the silent flickers. Loving women equals killing people, especially men and usually after sex. It goes with the particular stretch of cinematic territory.
Casting Amanda Plummer as the homicidal Eunice is rather stacking the deck, because she can be every bit as much of a ham as her dad, Christopher. The only surprise here is Saskia Reeves as Eunice's submissive lover Miriam. Reeves photographs entirely differently in colour than she does in black and white. Most of the film, Miriam drags herself through life like a wimpy Sigourney Weaver, but in black and white, she reveals flashes of wit, humour and irony in the best tradition of Dame Maggie Smith. This despite Winterbottom's edict for Reeves to make Miriam flat and boring. Of course. Psychotic... or dull... and what do lesbians do in the daytime besides get rid of the bodies they carved up the night before? After a screening at the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival here, "Butterfly Kiss" begins its commercial run at nationwide Landmark Theatres.
Copyright 1996 Monica Sullivan
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