In English with Chinese Subtitles
Director: Tom Kalin
Cast: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Hugh
Dancy, Stephen Dillane, Elena Anaya
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
Released By: GV and Encore Films
Rating: R21 (Mature Content)
Official Website: www.encorefilms.com/savagegrace
Opening Day: 20 September 2007
Based on the true story of the shocking murder of Barbara
Baekeland, who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland,
the dashing heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. Their only
child, Tony, grows up to be a homosexual and becomes increasingly
close to his lonely mother. He eventually kills his own mother,
in part because Barbara takes a personal interest in 'curing'
her son of his sexual orientation.
desperate housewife will tell you that behind the face of
sophistication and calmness, there is actually helplessness
and depression, and it takes a lot to live with that. We have
thought that Julianne Moore is the embodiment of this real-life
the unhappy housewives Laura Brown in The Hours (2002) and
Cathy Whitaker in Far From Heaven (2002), the Oscar-nominated
actress takes on another challenging role. She plays Barbara
Daly Baekeland, a wealthy but miserable socialite who was
brutally murdered by her son in 1972. The wife of Brooks Baekeland
(grandson of the inventor of Bakelite plastics) had a sexually
incestuous relationship with her son.
the plot premise, the Tom Kalin-directed film may be inaccessible
and not be everyone’s cup of tea. The themes explored
have also rightfully earned it a R21 rating in local cinemas.
But the portrayals of personalities may be worth your time
if you are interested in looking at how texturally complex
human nature can be.
103-minute feature first wows you with the intricately designed
set pieces, costumes and props. You’d notice the details,
the beauty and the delicateness of the scenes which span over
years, and how hairstyles, clothes and interior designs change
with the times.
production value of the movie will also please any film fan.
Juan Miguel Azpiroz’ mesmerizing cinematography, Deborah
Chambers’ beautiful art direction and John F. Lyons’
neat editing add to the aesthetic viewing pleasure.
behind this visual gorgeousness, the devastation of the characters
is glaringly apparent. There is something unlikable about
them that you will cringe at. Be it Barbara’s appalling
method of raising her son, her husband’s uncaring attitude
towards love, or their child’s warped behavior, look
deeper and you’d hear their loud cries for help to lead
outstanding performance is coupled with Stephen Dillane’s
weighty portrayal as her husband, and Eddie Redmayne’s
commendable interpretation of the confused soul who eventually
committed suicide in prison after attempting to kill his grandmother
a few years after the murder.
leave the theatre disturbed with what you have just seen,
and reflect upon the miseries and tragedies that are always
imminent around us.
(The cast’s wonderful performance allow us to see the
portrayal of human nature’s depressing devastation behind
its pretentious prettiness)
by John Li