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To Die For

To Die For

A beautiful but naïve aspiring television personality films a documentary on teenagers with a darker ulterior motive.
Name: To Die For
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Stars: Gus Van Sant
Language: English
Year: 1995
Time: 106 min
IMDb: 6.8/10

Storyline

Suzanne Stone (Kidman) knows exactly what she wants. She wants to be a television newscaster and she is willing to do anything to get what she wants. What she lacks in intelligence, she makes up for in cold determination and diabolical wiles. As she pursues her goal with relentless focus, she is forced to destroy anything and anyone that may stand in her way, regardless of the ultimate cost or means necessary.
Plot Keywords: career / new-hampshire / television / murder / fame
Taglines: All she wanted was a little attention.
Certificate: Argentina:16 | Australia:MA | Canada:14A (Manitoba/Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-15 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:Tous publics | Germany:12 | Iceland:12 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:R16 | Peru:14 | Philippines:R-18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:18 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | United Kingdom:15 | United States:R
Cast: Nicole Kidman , Matt Dillon , Joaquin Phoenix , Casey Affleck , Illeana Douglas , Alison Folland , Dan Hedaya , Wayne Knight , Kurtwood Smith , Holland Taylor , Susan Traylor , Maria Tucci , Tim Hopper , Michael Rispoli , Buck Henry , Gerry Quigley , Tom Forrester , Alan Edward Lewis , Nadine MacKinnon , Conrad Coates , Ron Gabriel , Ian Heath , Graeme Millington , Sean Ryan , Nicholas Pasco , Joyce Maynard , David Collins , Eve Crawford , Janet Lo , David Cronenberg , Tom Quinn , Peter Glen , Amber-Lee Campbell , Colleen Williams , Simon Richards , Philip Williams , Susan Backs , Kyra Harper , Adam Roth , Andrew Scott , Tamara Gorski , Katie Griffin , Carla Renee , Mischa , Melissa Cooper , Tom Peterson , Chris Phillips , Rain Phoenix , George Segal , Isabella Simone , Linda Wilkinson

Details

Company: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Country: United States , United Kingdom , Canada
Language: English
Released Date: 22 Sep 1995 (Italy)
Year: 1995
Film Location: Jackson’s Point, Ontario, Canada

Technical Specs

Runtime: 106 min
Soundmix: Dolby SR | SDDS | Dolby Digital
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

User Review:

st-shot » Gus Van Zant's wildly original take on the pursuit of fame at any price is a gruesome black comedy that works flawlessly on every level. Van Zant comes at his story from the viewpoint of a series of narrators who see through media lusting Susan Stone Marretto as she stops at nothing to bask in it's spotlight. The media in turn is more than willing to accommodate.

Nicole Kidman as Susan is intimidating beyond the screen as she narrates much of her story into the camera. In addition to her remarkable seductive charm being put to use she also intimidates with a convincing icy coldness. She is the bold and the beautiful and Kidman is perfect to the role.

Having bullied her way into a job as a weather forecaster at a small audience cable station Susan never stops shooting higher. She enlists three aimless high schoolers in a plot to kill her husband so as to unburden her to pursue her career. With sex as a tool it is easy to convince the moronically dim Jimmy who masturbates to her late night forecasts to come on board. The three teens Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck and Allison Foland are uniformly brilliant particularly Phoenix as the clueless doomed Jimmy. Her husband Larry (Matt Dillon)it might be said is in the same boat. Dillon along with Ileana Douglas and Wayne Knight fill out the solid supporting cast as narrators and victims of Susan.

Buck Henry's biting script shows he has not lost his edge since his Graduate days. Director Van Zant's vision of a fin de siecle cross section of America is brutal and original. From those laboring for the American Dream to the bleak Lidsville existence of the teens Die burns with both nervous energy and tragic-comic farce. Accompanied by an all inclusive period music score Vant Zant's wide angle is both brazen and revealing from gaudy colored suburban drab sterility with hints of incest to tragic siding housing and an auto graveyard landscape that serves as a playground to the teens. Told in flash forward and back Van Zant's pace never lingers for a moment as it rapidly presents an in your face comic and tragic pastiche of dark Americana. Van Zant admirably expresses it with a bold visual flair keeping scenes lean and sharp that over a dozen years later still retain there power and energy. It is a vibrant piece of film making and a 90s classic.
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