Amanda Seyfried has no qualms about baring all. For her, when a story needs to be told, all bets are off. Thus is the case with the new bio-pic "Lovelace" which has been in limited release since August 9th.
"Lovelace" tells the true story of iconic porn star Linda Lovelace's famous albeit short career in the adult film industry. A harrowing true story (though certain details are omitted for the purposes of sympathy) about the naivete of a young girl who falls in love while looking for an escape. Ms. Seyfried beautifully embodies Ms. Lovelace to almost pure perfection and works comfortably alongside Peter Sarsgaard as Linda's eventual husband and manager, Chuck Traynor.
Lovelace transpires in a Rashomon style of storytelling, the first half showing us Linda's rise to fame and the making of the infamous film "Deep Throat." The second half brings us back to what we have already have seen and illuminates us with the true nature of the Traynor/Lovelace relationship and the abuse suffered along with it.
The film itself is quite uneven at times. More of a film you are likely to see on Lifetime than in the cinema, it presses home a message against the adult film industry and the corruption it can lead to. Yet, even with a heavy handed message, it still seems to have inconsistencies which leave us unable to form a solid opinion about the nature of Linda Lovelace and how mistreated she was by anyone other than the abusive Traynor.
A true standout performance is Ms. Sharon Stone. Completely unrecognizable portraying Linda's mother, Dorothy Boreman, she exudes a quiet, reserved nature in her performance not common among her previous roles. Her scenes are heartbreaking and truthful, adding an extra layer to the demoralization of Linda's life once Traynor enters.
And then, of course, there is Ms. Seyfried. Over the years, Ms. Seyfried has taken more riskier roles, most notably the obsessive Chloe in Atom Egoyan's sexually charged film of the same name. Yet after "Mean Girls," "Jennifer's Body," "Les Miserables,""Mamma Mia" and "Chloe" Ms. Seyfried still finds a way to delve into new territory. She finds a way to shed her skin and fully embody Linda Lovelace, giving us a full glimpse of Linda's psychology.
While nude and performing sex acts many times throughout the film, Ms. Seyfried is never quite as bare or vulnerable than in the scenes she shares with Ms. Stone. A particularly chilling scene, evoking the memory of all us wanting to be saved by our parents, occurs 3/4 of the way through when Linda begs her mother to let her stay home for an evening. The chilly demeanor that Ms. Stone exudes and the inevitable vulnerability that Ms. Seyfried tries to hide is intensely intriguing.
Though the film could stand a tweak or two, Ms. Seyfried's performance alone is worth the price of admission. "Lovelace" takes us on a journey into a world that is commonly misunderstood and Ms. Seyfried makes certain that we stay grounded in the reality of a woman lost who lingers with us long after the final frame.