New York Times - 04/13/2007
"[A] beautifully photographed remake of Leonard Kastle's 1970 cult B-movie THE HONEYMOON KILLERS....Mr. Travolta surprises with the depth of his acting."
Total Film - 12/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "The true story of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck....[The film] offers a new angle by replaying the same events from a cop's perspective."
LONELY HEARTS is the brutal retelling of the true-life tale of Martha Beck (Salma Hayek) and Raymond Fernandez (Jared Leto), a murderous grifter couple who chose their victims via the personal ads of local papers. It was one of the more salacious crime sprees of the late 1940s, and it made a legend out of Long Island police detective Elmer C. Robinson, the grandfather of the film's director, Todd Robinson.
The killers' story is certainly one worthy of being retold, rife as it is with sex, violence, tough cops, and con games. Director Robinson looks to vintage crime films as well the cinematic grandeur of Terrence Malick's BADLANDS for his visual aesthetics. It's a combination that works nicely, as nary a detail looks out of place--from the natty fedoras worn by detectives Robinson (John Travolta) and Hildebrandt (James Gandolfini) to the big slabs of Detroit steel that everyone drives. The film also does a nice job of evoking the simultaneous sense of possibility and anxiety in post-WWII America, showing all the characters in one state of transition or another. Robinson, for example, is dealing with the loss of his wife to suicide, an event that fuels much of his obsession with catching the killers. In fact, the types of loss that LONELY HEARTS grapples with are all the result of brutal violence, and Robinson doesn't shy away from the gruesome details of those acts, many of which fall to Selma Hayek. Her portrayal of Martha Beck is one of the more frightening examples of the classic femme fatale. She is positively psychotic, yet smolders with sexuality. She is both violent and stunningly voluptuous, and her jealous rages inevitably end in grotesque, blood-splattered cocktails of sex and horror. LONELY HEARTS' pulp vision is rendered artistically, and Robinson is able to coax solid performances from his actors (particularly Hayek, and also Gandolfini, if only because the viewer forgets who Tony Soprano is for 100 minutes). In general, fans of classic detective films and neo-noirs will find much to enjoy here.
Serial Killers |
Theatrical Release |