To Die For

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Gus Van Sant

REVIEWED: 10-12-95

Gus Van Sant, ailing after making a movie with too loose a storyline (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues), tries to make up for it with this small-minded, easy-to-analyze portrait of a media whore. Taking cues from Network, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom and that line in Madonna: Truth or Dare when Warren Beatty criticizes Madonna's obsessive exhibitionism, Buck Henry's bleak script may be an accurate vision of a growing societal sickness; but it's not a very new or interesting one. And Van Sant's decision to turn Nicole Kidman's ice queen into a ditzy caricature lessens the picture's impact. What effectiveness the film does have comes from the solidly sympathetic performances of Illeana Douglas, as the sister of the murdered Matt Dillon, and especially teen-actor Joaquin Phoenix.

--Zachary Woodruff

Other Films by Gus Van Sant
Good Will Hunting
Psycho

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