Synopsis by Mark Deming
Model-turned-actress Charlize Theron leaves her glamorous image behind for this gritty drama, in which she plays a disturbed prostitute who becomes a serial killer. Aileen Wuornos (Theron) was a woman who survived a brutal and abusive childhood in Michigan to become a thick-skinned but emotionally damaged adult. Homeless most of her life, Wuornos subsisted by working as a street prostitute; later, when she was in Florida, down to her last five dollars and pondering suicide, she stopped into a bar for a beer. There, Aileen met Selby Wall (Christina Ricci), a woman in her early twenties who had been sent to live with relatives after her Christian parents became aware of her lesbian lifestyle. Selby is immediately attracted to Aileen, and while Aileen tells Selby she's never been in a lesbian relationship, she soon finds herself equally infatuated with her. Selby runs away from her family and moves into a cheap hotel with Aileen, who initially pays the bills by hooking. However, as their money runs low and Aileen finds herself unable to land a regular job, tensions mount between the two. One night, after a john attacks her, Aileen pulls a gun and kills the man. Although her first murder can be categorized as self-defense, Aileen's loathing for the men who pay her for sex becomes so extreme that she begins killing her customers regardless of their behavior. Meanwhile, Selby slowly becomes aware of the full extent of her lover's instability and the bloody consequences of her actions. Monster was inspired by the true story of Aileen Wuornos, whose life and death was chronicled in two documentaries by filmmaker Nick Broomfield, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, and Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer.
serial-killer, woman, prostitute/prostitution, child-abuse
High Artistic Quality