November 15, 2014
Kat's mom, Eve Connor, was an elegant woman who did not relish her married domesticity over the years, becoming miserable and unstable. When Kat was 17-years old, Eve suddenly just disappeared from their house without a trace. Her dad Brock was devastated and distraught. Kat though moved on quite easily with her raging hormones. love affairs and college. When Kat comes home from college on a break though, unsettled issues about her mom's disappearance simply refused to die down.
American indie film director Greg Araki directed this film with his own screenplay adapted from the novel by Laura Kasischke. The story is a strange mishmash of various genres, from family drama to police drama, to teenage angst drama. There is a heavy dose of sexuality here, with lead star Shailene Woodley actually having nude scenes.
Woodley carries the film well as the central character Kat. Earlier this year, she just broke through into mainstream consciousness in two big hit films, as heroine Tris in "Divergent" and as Hazel in "The Fault in Our Stars". She plays another teenager here, but with different adventures, mostly of the sexual kind. Her daring was quite unexpected for a serious young lead actress in this day, unlike the 80s or 90s.
Solid and sexy as Woodley was though, she was still upstaged by Eva Green playing her disturbed mother, Eve. This vitally sensual woman simply has a commanding screen presence that her other co-stars in any film would find hard to match. From "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Casino Royale", then recently in "300: Rise of an Empire" or "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For", Eva Green always ends up as the star audiences will remember most.
The male actors play support to the ladies here. Playing the father Brock is the charismatic and reliable actor mostly known for his TV work, Chris Meloni. During the flashback scenes, Meloni and his toupee provided that little touch of humor this film needed. Thomas Jane plays the macho cop assigned to the Connor case, who gets a little to much involved. Shiloh Fernandez plays the libidinous boy next door who got Kat started on her sexual escapades, among other people.
For me, this film was two different films each of which could stand on their own, but these two are connected with a tenuous and awkward bond. One was about Kat and her issues. One was about Eve and her issues. Together though, the totality of the film comes across as an uneven and lurid family melodrama that is not exactly easy to digest. 6/10.