Monster (2004)

Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

R. 109 mins

In her career-defining role, Theron portrays prostitute-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos with brutal honesty in this true story of the desperation and madness found in the darkest corners of society. Monster doesn’t illuminate us to Aileen’s life as much as I would hope, but thankfully there’s a documentary for that. Theron’s performance is astounding, a true transformation inside and out. Unfortunately, more discussion will be generated surrounding that acting rather than the disturbing subject matter here. The film verges on a love story at times audiences might find it a bit too sympathetic but Jenkins directs with a real tenderness and Theron adds a sharp performance that cuts like a knife. Monster is a powerful and painful film to witness but well worth it. For those interested in more details of the true story, I would strongly recommend the documentary Aileen Wuornos: Life and Death of a Serial Killer * * * *


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