Franz Patrick's Movie Review of Black Snake Moan

Rating of

Black Snake Moan

Offbeat But Interesting
Franz Patrick - wrote on 11/16/08

As strange as this film is, it’s ultimately a story about redemption. There’s something beautiful about the uneveness of this movie: the first twenty minutes are focused, the middle doesn’t know where to go, and the last twenty minutes regained its focus and offered something a little extra–something touching and real. I think this is one of my favorite roles of Christina Ricci: she’s a sex addict at first glance but we see her evolve until the last frame. Samuel L. Jackson is complex, to say the least, and every time he refers to the Bible, I think of his speech on “Pulp Fiction.” Just when you think he’s going to take his character one way, he takes it in the opposite direction and it feels refreshing. Justin Timberlake surprised me again like he did in “Alpha Dog.” Just when I thought he’d be the weakest link in the film, he more than held his own again A-list actors like Ricci and Jackson. There were a few highlights in the picture: Ricci’s “agony” on the grass when Timberlake left to serve in the war, when Ricci realizes that Jackson has tied a chain around her, when Jackson sings the blues while Ricci seductively dances in a pub, and when Jackson and Ricci made music together. Those scenes are so memorable, it makes up for most of the film’s shortcomings. Still, this is a very different movie so I can’t recommend this to just about anyone. It requires close viewing because some of the changes that the characters go through are shown in a subtle (and sometimes frustrating) manner.

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