Portrait of a Lady

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( 0)    DVD Rating: ( * · · · · )

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Never have I watched a movie that was so designed to make me feel bad for having a penis. Never have I seen a movie that is so adamant at having a main character seek out misery in the face of so much happiness. Never have I seen a movie with such a weak ending. Never have I seen such a lousy video transfer of a new film. Portrait of a Lady is the worst movie I have ever seen.

Portrait of a Lady is a movie that seems to have been written with some basic rules about it. Rule 1: men suck. Rule 2: Nicole Kidman crying for two hours is great acting. Rule 3: The use of slow motion removes the need for an ending. Rule 4: If punching a woman is too boring a form of marital abuse, try brushing her vigorously with your forehead. Rule 5: Men dying of tuberculosis are sexy, but only when they are on their sweaty pale death beds. Until then, they make great people to cry to when you have too many men in love with you, but are not sexy enough to sleep with.

One has to wonder what director Jane Campion has against the male sex. Whatever it is, she managed to encompass the film equivalent of castration. All men are either villains or weak. All women are constantly beaten down, forced to wear corsets, and are fully justified to pick the worst possible men to be with. With every frame of this two-hour-too-long picture, she mashes in every possible anti-male message possible. Like Dangerous Liaisons, a far far better movie.

The DVD's picture was so bad I actually took down my projector for a cleaning it didn't need (obviously not 16x9 enhanced). The sound, while acceptable, doesn't help pull this war-of-the-sexes bazooka out from the anti-XY chromosome propaganda that it is. There are no extras.

If you accidently stared at a woman longer than you should have and you need to make penance, or you related a bit too much to the correct answer in Jason Lees visual exercise in Chasing Amy (was I being too obscure?) than see this movie. Otherwise, be secure in yourself as a well adjusted member of society and go check out Desperado again.