There's a perverted logic in having crumpled serial-killer Aileen Wuornos portrayed by a dazzling ex-model - - the kind of woman she always dreamed of being. But Charlize Theron's Oscar-winning portrayal in writer/director Patty Jenkins' intense drama is more than flab and face-paint. It's a performance torn right from the soul, a heartbreaking vision of desperation and vulnerability that fractures into moments of wrenching cruelty.
Crucially, as Wuornos spirals from roadside hooker to habitual murderer, the narrative heartbeat here is her timid relationship with conflicted 18-year-old lover Selby (Christina Ricci). Trading cynicism for compassion, Jenkins' portrait of a serial killer emerges as a very human story: raw, intimate and deeply tragic.