I chose to see this film because Dakota Fanning is always a capable actress, and also as a little "fuck you" to all those idiots that freaked out about the films rape scene before even seeing the movie.
‘Hounddog’ infamously premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival an became known as ‘The Dakota Fanning rape movie” A ridiculous title that has nothing to do with what Hounddog is really about.
‘Hounddog’ follows a precious girl, Lewellen (Dakota Fanning) during the 1960’s in the deep south. She lives with her uncaring, crazy father (David Morse) and her Grannie (Piper Laurie). She lives in poverty, her father doesn’t care, she finds comfort in the songs of Elvis Presley. She’d do just about anything to meet him, stuck on the dream that he will take her away and make her into a famous singer. She’s cruelly tricked into thinking she’s got tickets, which leads to her being withdrawn, and not the charismatic girl she used to be.
I can start off by saying this film is not good, but its not the terrible piece of exploitation crap that many people have made it out to be. Fanning gives an amazing performance. She carries the entire film on her shoulders and once again proves that she is one of the best (if not THE best) young actresses out there. Her performance reminds me a lot of Jodie Foster’s in ‘Taxi Driver’. Which I know a lot of critic’s have compared it to. And I agree, this was a brave performance. But back to the film, while it’s beautifully shot the script is lacking and cliched. The talents of Fanning, Morse and Robin Wright Penn to great with what they have, but this isn’t a 5 star classic movie. It may not be the best, but it does not deserve all the backlash from this supposedly exploitative rape scene that takes place in the middle of the film. *SPOILER* alert. The scene is literally 10 seconds long and only shows a few shots of Fanning’s face in between lighting strikes. It’s handled tastefully, there’s no nudity (Like many anti groups previously stated) The Director (Deborah Kampmeier) does it artfully.
I encourage people not to believe the hype. All those people that started petitions to stop this film that they know nothing about is ridiculous. and I truly think that those people are of the lowest form. The only reason they are making a big deal out of this is because Dakota Fanning is a well known actress. They didn’t freak out over releases of films such as “Bastard out of Carolina” or “Fat Girl” but the fact that Fanning is so well known they make it a big deal. This just proves how great of an actress Fanning is, and this proves that she will be around for awhile in the acting world. I’m no fan of rape scenes in films. In fact, I usually automatically hate a film for having distasteful scenes. but this isn’t distasteful, it fits with the plot, and really. It’s not a big deal.
For everyone. Chill out, and have an open mind. Thank you for reading my review/rant
Memorable Quote - “I want to help Lewellen” - Stranger Lady (Robin Wright Penn)