Not That Kind of MILF 

Savage Grace Tries to Make Incest Sexy; Fails

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Because Savage Grace is a film based on a true story, and as such its plot is a matter of public record, I have no qualms about revealing that it's about a mentally unstable divorcée (Julianne Moore) who responds to her husband's infidelity by initiating a sexual relationship with her gay son Tony (Eddie Redmayne). Then one day the gay son stabs her, then he orders some Chinese food and eats it by her corpse, and that's how you know he's a sociopath.

Grace takes an arthouse approach to tabloid material—in other words, it revels in being both sordid and abstruse. While it's suggested that Tony was warped by his upbringing, this information is conveyed in a fragmented, disassociated, and overly facile manner: We see Tony's father running off with a younger, prettier woman (an ex-girlfriend of Tony's, in fact, as if the sexual dynamics of this film weren't fucked enough). We see a closeup of his mother's slashed wrists after a failed suicide attempt. We see little, though, of Tony himself, until the film's final, fatal moments.

The mom and son scenes are filmed all Flowers in the Attic-style—kinda creepy, but kinda sexy, too. (If boning your relatives were actually this hot, more people would be doing it.) And throughout the film, mirrors function as painfully obvious representations of how "backward" or unnatural the mother/son relations are. But artsy pretensions and pulpy storytelling aside, there seems to be a bigger issue here: Someone, somewhere, seriously misunderstood the term "MILF." (Julianne Moore, I'm looking in your direction. I hope your agent gets fired for this.)

Savage Grace
97 minutes · 2007
Director: Tom Kalin

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