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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Neon Demon Review: If Drive Were About Fashion Models

Chasing the dream of fame and fortune never looked so good...and horribly bloody. Director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) returns to the city of angels to take a look at what it means for a model to make it. Starting you think you're watching the most hot psychological thriller, dripping with sex and good looks and then sure enough it takes a turn for the worst way things to go.

Looks are all that matters in this film, that's both figurative and surreal as Jesse (Elle Fanning) starts her career as a model in LA, she's new in town and she has it, whatever it is.The movie could be called Jesse, Jesse, Jesse it's all about her and how everyone just wants a piece of her. And we follow Jesse as she gets competition from some other older models Sarah (Abbey Lee) and Gigi (Bella Heathcote). She gets some help from make-up artist Ruby (Jena Malone) and her photographer Dean (Karl Gusman)

Oh, look, it's Neo, I mean Keanu Reeves in the role of sleazy motel manager where Jesse is staying. He's... definitely there. It doesn't make much sense other than the name why he's in the film. It would have been way better if it was gross looking dude, but everyone in this films looks fine.

All the models look so good, whatever way they were shot by Refn, they look unnaturally beautiful, it's almost nauseating and repetitious how good they look. I mean, I got confused by how similar the models looked on occasion. It was hard to tell them apart when they were going for the same audition and dressed the same.

That's sort of the story, the cliched story of Hollywood chewing you up and spitting you out...The story follows Jess's short grind to success with surreal if not strange moments that seem to swarm around her. Both conventional, a photographer wanting to be with her "alone" to almost living out a nightmare moments.

What's really sick are at how well those nightmare moments are shot, making you almost scared and a little turned-on...

Performances like Elle Fanning's, who starts off as a almost big-eyed adorable deer like Bambi to  just being a bitch, is a nice arc. Then you have the lovingly almost motherly/sisterly/lesbian love of Jena Malone making you wonder if Jesse and Ruby will come together.

Cliff Martinez is back to provide the synthesized beat to match the amazing set pieces of model shoots that adds another layer of beauty to the whole film.

Not to spoil to film, you've got to stick with it and it can be a slow burn, and you will watch the flames as they dance and burn as only the director Refn makes it look like the sexiest fire you've wanted to burn in. As it burns out, you have some horrifying conclusions to watch.

The Neon Demon Q&A | Saturday with Director Nicolas Winding Refn and Actress Elle Fanning
Saturday, June 25th after 8:00 PM show
ArcLight is excited to announce a Q&A for the Cannes Film Festival-premiered The Neon Demon. Hollywood will host a Q&A with director Nicolas Winding Refn and actress Elle Fanning on 6/25 after the 8:00 PM show. When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has. Reserve now!