So the other night Lindsay from my old job and I went to check out Monster (not to be confused with Party Monster, a crappy movie that got a my roommate a free gift bag filled with strange clubbing paraphernalia. I think that trucker hat is still around here somewhere).
Anyways... holy crap Charlize. Honestly, I was at first a bit weary of all the headlines buzzing about how Charlize "gained 30 lbs" for this part. Everyone still apparently goes apeshit when beautiful actresses make themselves look what stereotype deems "unattractive" (recent examples... Renee Zelwegger and her Bridget Jones weight gain -- IMHO she has never looked hotter and I am glad her skeleton days are over for a while), Nicole Kidman in The Hours, etc). And I'll admit, the transformation is at first shocking. I mean... she looks awful, but in a larger sense she also looks so REAL. And for the first half an hour at least I kept staring at her and then thinking back to that scene in the cider house in Cider House Rules where she is all naked and hot and then being like HOLY CRAP I can't believe that's the same person. But as a credit to Charlize, who has never really struck me as a great actress before, her performance is incredible. I couldn't't take my eyes off her. Roger Ebert apparently called it "one of the best performances in the history of cinema" (maybe that's a little extreme... I'm not a huge Ebert fan anyways).
I have to admit though, it did bother me a bit the sympathy paid to Aileen Wuornos in this portrayal and the lack of any real acknowledgment of who her victims were or how her actions effected them. Then again, it was very interesting to see the flip-side with a portrayal of a female serial killer and her motivations to commit these murders which are obviously different than what would motivate a male serial killer (at least in terms of the type of abuse if they are motivated by childhood or lifelong abuse). All in all, it was an extremely depressing movie that I will probably never want to watch again but I have a lot of respect for Charlize Theron who up until this point had basically been eye candy (in the vein of Ashley Judd I would say) and not much more.