Posts Tagged ‘Lizzie Borden’

Chloe Sevigny

“LIZZIE” My rating: C+ (Opens Sept. 21 at  Tivoli, Glenwood Arts and Barrywood)

105 minutes | MPAA rating: R

In “Lizzie” the infamous story of Lizzie Borden — the young Massachusetts woman accused in 1892 of giving her parents “40 whacks” with a hatchet — gets a very modern, feminist (sort of) spin.

Writer Bryce Kass and director Craig William Macneill adhere closely to the known facts of the case…and use their imaginations to fill in the unexplored gaps.

Lizzie Borden (Chloe Sevigny) is trapped. A spinster (unmarried at the age of 32), she lives in the household of her wealthy and domineering father, Andrew (Jamey Sheridan).

Andrew is an old-style patriarch so cheap he has refused to wire his home for newfangled electricity. His  wife Abby (Fiona Shaw),  Lizzie’s stepmother,  is his colorless appendage; his older daughter Emma (Kim Dickens) is obedient and personality deficient.

Lizzie, though, is rebellious — though whether that is the result of an admirable strength of character or mental illness is up to the viewer. Early on she defies her father’s edict against going out unaccompanied, attends the theater, and has an epileptic fit in the powder room.

She’s the weird daughter Andrew would like to keep locked in a tower.

Life in the sedate Borden household shifts imperceptibly with the arrival of Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart), a new housemaid. She’s quiet and hard working…and before long Andrew is raping her on a regular basis.

At the same time, Bridget and Lizzie are entering into their own love affair, a desperate reaction to the misogyny of Andrew’s home.


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