The Neon Demon: review


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This is a marmite number I would say.

In Drive, Nicola Wynding Refn made a stonewall classic that was so cool, so violent it just oozed class.  No real reference points although I think some people found it reminiscent of Heat.

In this latest outing however Refn is wearing his influences on his sleeve and most obvious of them all is David Lynch (in his Twin Peaks/Mullholland Drive era).

Again it oozes class thanks to the superb cinematography by Natasha Braier and this astonishing electronic soundtrack (following up his Drive opus) by Cliff Martinez.

It’s achingly slow partly so that Braier can seduce the film’s lead ( a very young looking Elle Fanning) with her camera,  and boy can she look stunningly beautiful (albeit verging on Lolitaesque).

The violence is slow in coming but eventually it does with an ending that smacks a little of Heathers.

The story is slight.  The theme is around natural beauty that only Fanning possesses. Her rivals on the catwalk world, that she breezes into in LA, have been nipped and cut to blazes in a vain attempt to preserve their once natural beauty.

Needless to say, they hate her; the new Queen Bitch.

Overall it feels  a little voyeuristic.  The treatment of Fanning verges on the uncomfortable and the plot is pretty weak.

But it’s a thing of beauty.  An artifice.  But so what?

Sometimes art survives on artifice alone.

This does.

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