Review Date: August 19, 2002
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writer: Steven Peros
Producers: Julie Baines, Kim Bieber
Other notables included Joanna Lumley as the inquisitive writer Elinor Glyn and l'il Kirsten Dunst herself, once again proving to the world that she can take on pretty much any character and rope us along for the ride. It is to note, however, that the real-life Marion Davies (whom Dunst portrays) was 27 years old when she was dating Hearst, but Dunst doesn't really look a day over 16 here. Oh well. There was one stick in the mud in terms of casting however, and that was Jennifer Tilly. My God...didn't anyone notice that her character seemed to be in another movie?! Over-the-top, grating voiced and as loud as she wants to be...Tilly stuck out like a sore thumb among the more accomplished of the cast, but thankfully didn't really play a big part in the movie. Another thing that I liked about this flick was that I didn't know much about it going in, other than the fact that someone was going to get killed, and as it moved forward, and I actually started giving a shit about most of its characters, I was genuinely curious to see what would happen next (a good sign of a mystery). I also dug the "love triangle" that was bubbling beneath it all, both sides of which came across as heartfelt and sincere. And that was yet another piece of the puzzle which I was intrigued to see work out. The film might've been cut by about 10-15 minutes, as some of the first hour did start to feel a tad redundant, but I appreciated it overall, really got a good sense of the time, place and characters, and especially enjoyed seeing this debatable "historical event" play out. If the topic, the setting and the "mysterious circumstance" peak your curiosity...I suspect that you too will enjoy this original and entertaining piece of cinema. Now Charleston!!