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Monster [2003] [DVD]

Charlize Theron , Christina Ricci , Patty Jenkins    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Scott Wilson, Pruitt Taylor Vince
  • Directors: Patty Jenkins
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: In2film
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Dec 2007
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W2228E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,435 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Critics have universally praised Charlise Theron's performance in Monster and the praise, for once, is astonishingly deserved. The gorgeous star of The Italian Job and The Cider House Rules vanishes into the character of Aileen Wuornos, a real-life serial killer and prostitute who murdered at least seven men in Florida. Monster traces her relationship with a young woman named Selby (Christina Ricci), which intertwines with Wuornos's murder spree. This remarkable movie finds compassion for Wuornos but unflinchingly faces her brutal crimes; Theron expresses this woman's horrific life history without softening her terrifying, dead-eyed stare. This is a gripping, devastating performance, a physical and psychological transformation comparable to Robert DeNiro's in Raging Bull. The movie's moral and emotional complexity wouldn't succeed without this searing performance--but succeed it does, and it will stick with you for some time afterwards. Those interested in the back story may also want to seek out Nick Broomfield's documentaries on Wuornos. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Charlize Theron won an Oscar at the 2003 Academy Awards for her portrayal of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in this gritty, hard-hitting drama by first-time writer/director Patty Jenkins. After a horrifically abusive childhood in Michigan, Aileen, known as 'Lee' (Charlize Theron) is working as a prostitute on the highways of Florida, with truck-drivers as her main clientele. Just as she is nearing suicidal despair she meets Selby (Christina Ricci) a young woman sent to live with an aunt to 'cure' her of her homosexuality. The two quickly fall into an intense and dysfunctional relationship, and Lee continues to work the streets to support Selby, who has become her lifeline. When one of her customers turns violent, Lee ends up shooting him in self-defence, and her string of killings begins. Wuornos was finally convicted of killing six men, though she claimed to have been acting in self-defence, and was executed in Florida in 2003.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Therons best role so far 3 Dec 2006
Format:DVD
I can't imagine that were would be an awful lot of people who would have heard the name Aileen Wournos before, but watch this film once and you will never forget it. Based on the infamous "first female serial killer" case, it takes as its centre the down on her luck former prostitute who was sentenced to death for the murder of 6 men between 1989 and 1990.

Picking up the story of Aileen as she is at one of her lowest points, hitching across the country and turning tricks in order to survive, the film gives Charlize Theron the role of a lifetime as the dangerous yet surprisingly sympathetic main character. Cast against type (rather like Tom Cruise in Born On The Fourth Of July), Theron is virtually unrecognizable under heavy makeup, extra weight and prosthetic teeth as she virtually inhabits the role of Wournos, turning in a performance that must rank as one of the finest in modern cinema.

Wournos abandons her lifestyle after she meets Selby Wall, a teenage lesbian runaway played with a wide eyed innocence by Christina Ricci, and although Wournos insists she is not gay, the two quickly fall in love. Determined to do things right for Selby, Aileen attempts to get a regular job, but after a string of humiliating failures, she returns to her former job, where she kills her first victim in self defence after her beats, rapes and is about to kill her. From there, it is an easy step for Aileen to continue killing her "Johns", taking their money and their cars as she attempts to give Selby the lifestyle that she so desperately craves.

This is in no way, shape or form a happy uplifting film. Aileen is as much a victim as any of the men she kills, but the film does not attempt to excuse her actions, rather to rationalise and explain them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable but compelling 15 Nov 2006
Format:DVD
I first found out something about Aileen Wuornos when watching the documentary by Nick Broomfield. I found the documentary disturbing as, in my opinion, Aileen didn't appear to be in her right mind when she was executed and I was also disturbed by her life story. When 'Monster' came out with Charlize Theron in the lead role I was concerned that this would be yet another means of making the most out of Aileen's story. However, Theron is absolutely superb as Aileen and anyone who'd watched anything of Aileen herself would realise that the similarity is haunting. Charlize is incredibly beautiful but somehow manages to consume the character she portrays.

I liked the film but at times I was disturbed by it which is to be expected when you consider the subject manner. When Aileen is raped it was a truly graphic and horrifying scene and I found myself looking away and wanting it to end which I can only assume is what Aileen felt when she took the drastic move of murdering her attacker. Although I know it's common place to talk about serial killers as 'scum of the earth', and 'monsters' I have to admit that I began to like Aileen in the film for her naivety and honesty. You get the impression that she killed for love however wrong this choice was. I also like Christina Ricci who played Aileen's lover. Watch it for a brutal look at the life of one person whose life had absolutely nothing good in it and ended in the way that you'd expect. BADLY.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I won't summarise the plot (based on the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos (1956-2002), who was executed for her crimes in October 2002) since others have already done that here.

I avoided watching this film for a long time, not wanting to be depressed by the seemingly unremittingly dark and violent story that looked out from the cover. When I finally got around to it, I found the film so gripping. It was also surprisingly sympathetic to the perpetrator (we don't get much time to feel sympathy for the victims). Director Patty Jenkins adds details to Wuornos's story - for example, she never met her father who was doing time for raping and murdering an eight-year old boy when she was born, but Jenkins has Theron state in a teary scene that she was abused by him - presumably to trigger or strengthen the viewer's pity and provide a deeper psychological motive for the seven killings she commits. This, alongside further brutal treatment by men in her childhood and teenage years - being raped, becoming a prostitute and giving up an unwanted baby for adoption in her early teens - is seen as the wellspring for her extreme misandry which culminates in her brutal killings of men and a last ditch attempt to find love with a person of her own sex. The motivation of Selby (in real life called Tyria Moore - a hotel maid she met in a Daytona gay bar) is probably too roughly sketched; it is difficult to believe that she was sufficiently delusionally naive to have turned a blind eye to Wuornos's escalating violence (Selby is also portrayed as younger than Moore was at that time).
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theron's tour de force 5 Jan 2006
By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Charlize Theron's tour de force in MONSTER is the performance of this decade, and perhaps any decade you'd care to mention.
In January 1991, aging prostitute Aileen Wuornos was arrested in Florida. She was suspected of killing seven men since 1989, leaving their bullet-riddled bodies near highways, and stealing their cars and cash. In January 1992, Wuornos was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death, mostly on the evidence of her own confessions and the testimony of her lesbian lover during the killing spree, Tyria Moore. In October 2002, the state took her life. MONSTER is Aileen's story.
Even a cursory reading of the Wuornos tragedy on the Web will indicate the challenge of Charlize's incredibly taxing role. It's not just the make-up (shaved eyebrows, false teeth), body alteration (thirty pounds added weight), and costumes that the actress put on for the role. It's the walk, talk, nervous mannerisms and body language. Even aura, if you believe in such. Theron is unrecognizable as herself. The transformation is apocalyptically stunning.
The film does, of course, take liberties. Tyria Moore, 24-years old when she met Wuornos in 1986, becomes "Selby" (Christina Ricci), who's about 18 in the script. The screenplay inferred to me a time span of perhaps several months for the Aileen-Selby relationship, and that the first killing occurred about when the two first met. In fact, Aileen and Tyria spent four years together, and the first murder was committed only towards the end. In any case, Ricci deserves consideration for an Oscar in a supporting role as the troubled, naive, and clueless Selby totally out of her depth.
At one point, Theron's Aileen states that she was raped by her father's friends, and that he subsequently beat her for it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The transformation of Charlize into Aileen is astonishing in this movie. She pulls of her mannerisms perfectly.
Published 7 days ago by Kaz Elphinstone
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film: would definitely recommend
Speedy delivery, well packaged, brilliant film: would definitely recommend.
Published 8 days ago by MRS annette lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good sad story but real life good acting from both ...
Very good sad story but real life good acting from both however aileens partner in real life was not as petite but the story is fairly accurate from what we do know aileens own... Read more
Published 16 days ago by edward o donnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
EXCELLENT MOVIE
Published 23 days ago by frank
4.0 out of 5 stars A masterful portrayal of one of Americas most talked about murderers.
Aileen Wuornos captured the attention of the American public and beyond at the time of her trial. A number of documentaries have been made looking into her life and crimes... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Birolli
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
I bought this film without much knowledge of the story and I did not expect to be sooo impressed. I loved the narration throughout the film and, admittedly, I cried at the end. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hannah Mitchell
3.0 out of 5 stars O.K Serial Killer Movie!!
I picked this mainly on the basis that I like serial killer movies, however its not a movie which is up there with silence of the lambs which I think is the greatest Serial Killer... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Joel S. Greenhalgh
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware nasty lesbo s***e!!!!!
Yes I'm being immature and bitchy but I do NOT care for such materials. Anyhoo aside from that I wasn't moved. Read more
Published 4 months ago by BigAl82
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one.
Wasn't expecting much from this title but what an excellent film.Superb performance from < THERON >Definately one for anyone's collection so don't hesitate and get it.
Published 4 months ago by EL SID
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
The product i have purchased is everything i expected it to be and compliant with the advertisement relating to the goods being sold.
Published 4 months ago by mr darren j spencer
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