Adapted from the nonfiction book by Natalie Robins and Steven M.L. Aronson, Tom Kalin's Savage Grace recounts the true crime tale of the death of Barbara Baekeland. Stephen Dillane stars as Brooks Baekeland, the son of the man who invented Bakelite, one of the early forms of plastic. As the family fortune begins to decrease after years of wealth, Brooks marries Barbara (Julianne Moore), who desires to mingle in the highest social circles. They have a child, Antony, who is homosexual. Antony grows up to kill Barbara, in part because Barbara takes a personal interest in "curing" her son of his orientation. This was Kalin's first film since 1991's Swoon, a film about the infamous Leopold and Loeb murders. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
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I rented this movie because of its cast. Julianne Moore is an amazing actress, and the others in the cast are also very strong. But... Yuck! It's a twisted story about sick people with lots of money and no scruples. I watched the movie all the way through because it was fascinating, in the same way newsreel footage of the burning Hindenberg is fascinating. I have a very difficult time liking a movie if I don't like its characters, and not one character here is likable. I don't blame the actors; they are portraying despicable people, and they play them well. But it is impossible to find one redeeming quality among any of the people portrayed here. Much of the movie made me squirm. This is not a casual "popcorn" movie, by any means. On the plus side, the production is sumptuous, and the scenery in Spain and other European locales is beautiful. And, as mentioned, the performances are stellar. But none of those factors can negate the nasty taste this film left in my mouth.
The movie was very slow. Since it was based on a true story, the viewers knew the ending at the start. Therefore, the acting should have been more dramatic, anything to create some interest. I feel the movie failed terribily.