Academy Awards 2003 -
Best Actress: Charlize Theron
New York Times - 12/24/2003
"[Theron's] unforgettable performance recalls Hilary Swank's Oscar-winning turn in BOYS DON'T CRY..."
USA Today - 12/26/2003
"Theron gets everything out of clearly her best role to date."
Rolling Stone - 01/22/2004
"[Theron's] raw and riveting performance make MONSTER an experience you won't forget."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/09/2004
"[Theron] becomes Aileen Wuornos....This isn't just a performance, it's an act of obsession..."
Film Comment - 01/01/2004
"Theron has given one of America's favorite nightmare figures a human face..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/09/2004
"What Charlize Theron achieves in Patty Jenkins' MONSTER isn't a performance but an embodiment. With courage, art and charity, she empathizes with Aileen Wuornos."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 02/01/2004
"Theron gets beneath the skin of Wuornos and finds her tortured humanity."
Uncut - 11/01/2004
"Patty Jenkins' script and direction are grim and gristly. Superb."
Charlize Theron delivers a knockout, cast-against-type performance in this gritty drama, based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, a down and out prostitute who was sentenced to death after killing six men between 1989 and 1990. Christina Ricci costars as Selby Wall, a lesbian runaway who forms a romantic bond with Wuornos. Inspired by her love (even though she is not gay, strictly speaking) Wuornos tries to get a real job, but after meeting with a string of humiliating failures, she returns to work as a hitchhiking hooker, killing her first victim in self-defense after he rapes and beats her. Eventually, robbing and murdering her clients becomes almost second nature and by the end Wuornos even slays a man who was totally innocent (Scott Wilson). Theron's portrayal of this dangerous yet sympathetic character ranks with some of the greatest performances in cinema. Under heavy makeup, extra weight, and a snarling countenance, she proves herself a fearless, formidable talent, completely unrecognizable from the glamorous beauty of such films as THE ITALIAN JOB (2003) and THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE (1997). First-time director Patty Jenkins proves herself with this fluid and engrossing work, capturing a lot of sordid detail that other movies exploring this milieu might miss; she also wrote the script, based on actual conversations and prison letters from Wuornos. The moody, paranoia-enhancing soundtrack is by electronica maestro BT.
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