Nicole Kidman gives a great performance in this brilliantly acerbic satire on fame and the American Dream, playing shallow suburban princess Suzanne Stone whose entire life has been devoted to becoming a television celebrity.
A job at a local TV station seems like the first step on her journey to the top, but when her husband, Larry (Matt Dillon) announces his desire to start a family, she realises he has to go and persuades her dim-witted teenage lover Jimmy (Joaquin Phoenix) to murder him.
Sharply scripted by Buck Henry from Joyce Maynard’s bestselling novel, which was inspired by true events, this frighteningly funny, razor-sharp drama is one of director Gus Van Sant’s most accessible movies.
Kidman, all pretty in pink lipstick and poisonous plans, is a revelation. There’s fine support from Illeana Douglas, who gets to end this delightful satire with a marvellously cynical cutting-edge climax.
Man at lake
Gus Van Sant