There have been a few films over the years that have shone a light on the steamy and sordid lives of those in the pornographic film industry. Even fewer of those have been major releases but as the world evolves, subject matters that were once taboo and perhaps less divulged by your average movie goer have become slightly more the ‘norm’.
The industry certainly owes a lot to films like one of its biggest blue movie homage successes, Boogie Nights which bridged the gap between scandalous and serious, tying a fantastic storyline into a picture overflowing with sex, drugs and violence and that allowed us to look past the graphic sexual nature of a film with a sense admiration.
Lovelace is one of the latest films to join the ranks alongside Boogie Nights and although the film doesn’t have the same immediate shock impact as the latter had back in the 90’s when it was released, the incredible story of this one-time porn star is far more compelling given that it depicts real life events.
Lovelace is the story of Linda Lovelace, one of the most iconic porn stars in history. Back in the 70’s Deep Throat made the ‘actress’ a global star for purveyors of the racier film genre. From the surface the world believed that Linda was a fully-fledged porn actress, in it for the fame the money that came with success on the silver screen. What the world didn’t realize at the time was that the once-prude New Yorker was manipulated and bullied into her field by an abusive and controlling spouse, Chuck Traynor. Not only was Traynor physically and mentally abusive to Lovelace but he was also in complete control of her earnings. As the final credits rolled on the film we learned that Linda Lovelace had walked away from her Deep Throat fame with a mere $1,250 of the $600 million that the picture grossed.
The film takes us through the years leading up to, those during and the 6 years after, Linda Lovelace’s role in Deep Throat, unmasking all of the secrets behind the films creation, the stars poisonous marriage to Traynor and the pain and fear behind one of the porn industry’s most famous names.
Amanda Seyfried does a fantastic job in her portrayal of the industry scorned porn star and brings a lot of heart to her role. She does a spectacular job as Lovelace, showing off the stars optimistic disposition as well as making you feel angry and in disbelief at what she is forced to do at the hands of a monster. Peter Sarsgaard is also an integral clonk in what makes this film a success, playing Linda’s abusive and obsessive husband.
Joining the cast alongside Seyfried and Sarsgaard is a myriad of famous faces, all bringing something amazing to the table in this film including Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale and Chris Noth who play the directorial, production and financial team behind Deep Throat, Robert Patrick as Linda’s heartbroken but forgiving father and Sharon Stone shines as Linda’s dismissive and dowdy yet eventually regretful mother. Other surprise appearances by Chloe Savigny, Eric Roberts and James Franco portraying a young Hugh Hefner were also dotted throughout the film making for a star studied affair. One of the stand-out performances of the film, despite only being a brief role, goes to the always amazing Debi Mazar who played Lovelace’s on screen co-star, Dolly Sharp. As well as looking amazing in character, Debi added a fresh comical charm to a film that was otherwise kept on a quite serious note given the subjects that we so heavily focussed on.
Despite being one of the most talked about actresses of the 70’s and a poster girl for the sexual revolution, Linda Lovelace’s story is tragic and heartfelt and the film has mastered its goal of telling the real story behind this once X-rated icon and really is a must see.
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