starring Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci and Bruce Dern
written and directed by Patty Jenkins
This is the movie biography of convicted and executed Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos. I remember when Aileen Wuornos was
executed in 2002, twelve years after her conviction for murders committed in the 1980s. It was in the English-language Japanese newspapers. This film won Charlize Theron an Academy Award, I think, and high praise for her acting as well as notoriety that her career never had before. But even before this film I already knew who Charlize Theron was, and I was not impressed with her talent, although I admit that the story of Aileen Wuronos was challenging and she did a good job with it. (Did you see her in The Astronaut’s Wife? What a load of crappy-crap-crap!) Especially challenging for the two stars of Monster, I suppose, were the lesbian scenes between Aileen and her lover, Selby (Christina Ricci). But they were done well, not gratuitously, and were only incidental to the story of how Aileen slipped further and further into the dark side of human existence while reaching out to the nearest person - her girlfriend Selby - for whatever affection and comfort she could grab. I guess the supposition is that even a monster is human and that, therefore, any love is good love, so why not take what she could get?
Aileen’s story is of a hooker who turned to murdering her abusive Johns. Hers was a hard life that a comfortable, educated, loved, middle class white guy like me cannot imagine. So I probably shouldn’t even be trying to write about her. But, what the heck? It’s my paper. The story tries to explain the circumstances that drove her into a dead-end life, but Monster does not inject me with any sympathy for this character and it leaves me feeling little but disgust for that foul-talking piece of white trash.
I don’t like Charlize Theron as an actress. Her whole personality seems - I don’t know - thin to me, like a desiccated, dying autumn leaf. I like Christina Ricci, but I felt she didn’t flex her talent here as a supporting actress to Theron. I liked Bruce Dern as Tom, a sympathetic male character in Aileen’s life. Bruce Dern is a creepy kind of guy. I like him. Ever since Ricci played Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (Raul Julia and Angelica Huston) I have always thought of her as a little creepy, too.