DVD Review: The Neon Demon

Beauty is everything.

Jesse (Elle Fanning) is sixteen years old and has just moved to Los Angeles to become a model. She's befriended by a make up artist, Ruby (Jena Malone) immediately but finds that other models, particularly Sarah (Abbey Lee) and Gigi (Bella Heathcote) are jealous of her natural beauty. Then thing get weird.

I have a strange relationship when it comes to director Nicholas Winding Refn. Drive is an excellent movie and because of that I was immediately sold on his last feature, Only God Forgives which ended up being a pretentious mess. So where does The Neon Demon fall? In between, definitely. Neck and neck with Bronson

The film is gorgeous to look at, which Refn's films always are. He has a great use of color in his movies that always fits the narrative. He makes a few missteps with the length of some of his shots. Beautiful as they are, I found myself wanting to fast forward through a few. 15 minutes could've easily been shaved off the film just be shortening a few takes. But the story makes it worth while. 

Jena Malone is the stand out acting wise, as usual. Her character, who ends up doing some of the most fucked up things in the film could not be easy to play. Elle was great as the naive new girl in town, but as her character grew more cocky, I felt it didn't suit Elle very well. Abbey Lee is also good as a ferocious model. I loved her scenes. 

If you're in for some glittery, neon fucked upness, this film is for you. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Is that a compliment?" - Jesse (Elle Fanning)

16 comments:

  1. I'm going to take your recommendation on this one. I loved Drive, hated Only God Forgives, so I put this movie off when it first came out.
    - Allie

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    1. Only God Forgives put me off Refn too. It took me ages to actually watch Bronson because of it. (it was way better than OGF,thankfully)

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  2. So glad you dug it! Lee was my favorite in the cast. I'm going as her character for Halloween :lol:

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    1. Nice! this is a good film for that. So much glitter.

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  3. Excellent review. For me, this is Refn's best film since Drive as I'm probably one of the few that liked Only God Forgives. I'm glad you love Jena in this film as much as I did as I'm saddened that she won't get any recognition come Oscar time because I think this is her best performance to date.

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    1. Oh I know, Oscars wouldn't touch this performance with a 10 foot pole. She'll get one eventually.

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  4. Got this coming tomorrow. Really looking forward to it. Great review!

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  5. I remember one character said, "beauty isn't everything; it's the only thing." And that, I think is the definition of the movie. It's only about beauty and nothing else.
    Sorry about that.

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    1. That's a very good point, and beauty is definitely the movie's strong point. I love the story behind it though, how ruthless the modeling world is.

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  6. This is just nowhere in the same vicinity as Drive, and I'm afraid he won't make another flick that comes close. This was just "okay" for me. Fanning was pretty flat, but I guess her character was supposed to be? Malone was magnificent.

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    1. I thought she was good until she had to start being "bad." I don't see Refn ever topping Drive either.

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  7. Yes I agree Jenna Malone is the best thing from this movie. I liked Elle Fanning even when she was being cocky. I felt the transformation worked fine. Great review

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