Review: ‘Lovelace’ (MA) *** and a half

lovelace d04 _109.NEFLINDA Susan Boreman lived a life of physical and sexual abuse which might not have been remarkable had she not, as Linda Lovelace, played a woman with her clitoris in her uvula in the porno box-office hit “Deep Throat” (1972).

While Andy Bellin’s screenplay for this biopic of Linda, directed by Rob Epstein and Geoffrey Friedman, may embellish historical facts, it delivers a measure of verity.

Amanda Seyfried’s portrayal of Linda is convincing, a woman afraid to break away from loathsome husband Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard) who exploited her sexuality before, during and after the 17-day shoot of “Deep Throat”, for which she was paid $1250 (the film grossed over $300 million), reportedly, among other indignities, lending her to its director Gerry (Hank Azaria) and his cronies for a train-pulling gangbang.

In scenes involving Linda’s parents, “Lovelace” runs a thread of anti-sentimentality that may reflect reality. Her New York cop father moved the family to Florida after teenaged Linda bore a child. The film shows her mother (a strong performance from a de-glamourised Sharon Stone) rejecting Linda’s vulnerability and pleas for protection and consolation after the toxic marriage with Chuck became intolerable.

Its in-your-face ventures into the skin trade may be capable of making your skin crawl for its depiction of men exploiting women, but they also deliver a salutary lesson. Reports that erotic movies gross more than the mainstream product suggest that their modern performers may be better paid than Linda was. And possibly enjoy it more.

At Palace Electric

 

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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