Lips ablaze with crimson petulance, cheekbones that could cut glass – Julianne Moore’s portrayal of murdered, married-for-money heiress Barbara Baekeland smoulders. Pity the rest of this tepid tumbleweeder never matches her magnetic fervour. Adapted from Natalie Robins’ dramatisation of actual events, Savage Grace is dressed to the nines and desperate to party, all shiny cinematography and retina-pleasing cast… but it doesn’t make it out the front door. Swilling with callous, impenetrable characters who never earn our empathy, Tom Kalin’s film struggles like an impetuous child to seize attention with poorly orchestrated shocks. “This society is sick!” seethes Moore… before giving her son (Eddie Redmayne) a hand job. Then there’s the grubby subtext effectively equating homosexuality with madness. Not so much Far From Heaven as close to hell.
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