Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oscar Movie Review: "Fatal Attraction" (1987)

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Movie"Fatal Attraction"
Year Nominated: 1988
Director: Adrian Lyne
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is a happily married attorney. One weekend, his wife Beth (Anne Archer) goes away to visit her parents and to look at a house they might want to buy. That weekend, Dan has an affair with a client named Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), who he had met at a book release party a short time ago. The affair only lasts the weekend, and when Dan tries to end it, Alex isn't so easily pushed away. Dan thought it was just a mutual fling as he told her he was married, but Alex becomes obsessed and starts to stalk and harass Dan as her advancements become more and more threatening.  
The old saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" is never more true than in the movie "Fatal Attraction." In fact, this film might be directly responsible for having a hand in scaring a bunch of potentially unfaithful husbands into think twice before stepping out on their wives. On the surface, Alex seems normal enough, going about her day to day life at work; sure she flirted a little, but who didn't? It was the 80's! She seems like a successful, professional businesswoman. As for Dan, he has it all: a wonderful wife and what seems to be a great relationship with her, a young daughter who adores him, a successful business life and the prospect of moving to a new, bigger house. While the wives are away, the husbands will play, #trademarked. Enter the fling. Dan and Alex can't seem to get enough of each other while they are together. Their short tryst seems to be more than just physical as they can talk to one another and open up about different parts of their lives. The fun and romance is quickly cut short as soon as Dan lets her know that their 'relationship' is nothing more than a weekend fling, and Alex goes from calm, cool and collected to totally batshit crazy, and quick. Glenn Close does a brilliant job in capturing these emotions in her stellar and truly frightening performance as Alex. Wow, talk about a portrayal! We believe Close 110% in this role. Her acting never once comes off as fake or cheesy in any way, it is only scary and unnerving how good she is at playing a psychopath. Her performance definitely set the tone for other actresses who have played these psychotic types of roles since then, and we'd even go as far as to say hers should be called an "iconic" role. Michael Douglas also does a good job as Dan. As a character, Dan isn't an innocent victim, but he also isn't a heinous villain, either. Douglas fills these very gray area roles rather well, where he has both bad and good traits. In fact, both Alex and Dan as characters are not entirely good or entirely bad people. Alex is obviously deeply emotionally and mentally disturbed, but Dan doesn't do much to help the situation and probably shouldn't have started a relationship with her in the first place. Together, Glenn Close and Michael Douglas have scarred generations of the unfaithful in this thrilling film with their powerhouse and dramatic dynamic. This movie is well written, well executed and quite an intense ride. It might be a little dated now, sure, but you will hardly notice this once you're shivering in a corner because you're afraid Glenn Close might come and try to shank you in the middle of the night.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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