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Savage Grace


This examination of a famous scandal from the 1970s explores the relationship between Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore) and her only son, Antony (Eddie Redmayne). Barbara, a lonely social climber unhappily married to the wealthy but remote plastics heir Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), dotes on Antony, who is homosexual. As Barbara tries to "cure" Antony of his sexuality -- sometimes by seducing him herself -- the groundwork is laid for a murderous tragedy.

Actors: Martin Huber , Mapi Galan , Jim Arnold , Minnie Marx , Martin Huberty , Anne Reid , Hugh Dancy , Elena Anaya , Eddie Redmayne , Stephen Dillane , Julianne Moore
Directors: Tom Kalin
Release: 2008-01-25
More Info:
  • Shawn Levy

    If you might wish the film got deeper under the skin of the characters, you also feel grateful for the fact that you'll never get closer to them than watching it.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Money, madness, incest and murder! Just the recipe for a twisted mesmerizer of a movie, if it doesn't creep you out.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • William Arnold

    It's still primarily a showcase and offbeat star vehicle for Moore. It's a bravura role and she brings it off with a chilling malevolence and a strange, disjointed vulnerability that almost, but not quite, makes her sympathetic.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    The film walks the fine line between exploitation and empathy to cast a chilly, memorable spell.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Part of the film's failure to arouse real horror is the languid direction; not enough seems to be at stake emotionally.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Bernard Besserglik

    U.S. viewers may be put off by its tangled sexual motifs and find its implied social critique a little close to the bone. But even Stateside, Julianne Moore, in her most challenging role in years, will win plaudits and attract mature audiences to a thoroughly absorbing and polished piece of work.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Howard A. Rodman's script has a lot of juice, and the rhythms are so pregnant that the air vibrates with something, even if you're not sure what.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    Julianne Moore proves game for anything in this pitch-black true-crime reconstruction.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The director, Tom Kalin, stages acid duels, but he should have provided more psychological structure. Though Moore, a great actress, turns fury into verbal music, we're never quite sure what's driving her.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Savage Grace should have the force of Greek tragedy, but Kalin's chamber drama feels curiously stifling and flat, and Moore's volatile turn isn't enough to quicken its pulse.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Living these lives, for these people, must have been sad and tedious, and so, inevitably, is their story, and it must be said, the film about it.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    A chilly inquest into very bad behavior, Savage Grace is presented to us like an entrée at a five-star French restaurant. It's decadence under glass.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    It's tough to think of another film in which sex between a mother and her son is not necessarily the worst thing that happens.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jay Weissberg

    Scripter Howard A. Rodman's treatment of an enthralling book is more a series of vignettes rather than a fully connected work, and helmer Tom Kalin seems unable to decide how much Sirkian melodrama to introduce into the heady mix. Gone are the reasons to be fascinated with these people, merely replaced with maddeningly over-arch dialogue and struggles with characterization.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    Has everything one could ask of a true-crime expose.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    The film includes graphic omnisexual and incestuous couplings and has an air of free-floating dread but, especially given its subject matter, it's oddly vacuous – it rarely takes hold emotionally even when its people hit bottom with a resounding thud.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Savage Grace comes up bland and seems to go nowhere in particular.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Savage Grace is a thoroughly disturbing story, told in a detached style rendering the overall experience an unsettling blend of lurid and vacuous.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    Rarely has appalling, reckless behavior been so soporific as in Savage Grace.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Jamie Tipps

    To be sure, it's a very pretty, well acted production; however, that doesn't make up for the fact that I hated every minute of it.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Proust might have known what to do with the Baekelands, but Mr. Kalin and Mr. Rodman don't make much more of them than the mess they apparently already were.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    "Grace" may be based on a true story, but barely a moment in it feels real.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Staff (Not credited)

    Savage Grace is simply hysterical: a film as harsh, brittle and unbalanced as its characters.

    Empire Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    You can almost smell the desperation in the twisted psychosexuality of Savage Grace.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    For all its outré set pieces it never rises above the level of pretentious trash.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Jim Ridley

    A tawdry nighttime soap that marvels without insight at its characters' despicable behavior: It squanders a major performance by Moore.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    What Kalin fails to provide in the slightest degree is energy. The movie just sloshes along in a heavy, slightly overdone way.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    An unbroken flow of sad or nasty incidents.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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