Thursday, April 22, 2004

Movie: Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer

Posted on Thu, Apr 22, 2004 at 4:00 AM

****
Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Studio: Lantern Lane Entertainment
Release Date: 2004-04-23
Cast: Nick Broomfield
WorkNameSort: Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Our Rating: 4.00

A useful supplement to the watershed drama "Monster," Nick Broomfield's documentary about the final days of condemned murderer Aileen Wuornos fills in the gaps of her lifelong descent from one level of hell to another. All the usual Broomfieldian tics are here, from the willy-nilly pacing of the investigative segments to the laconic, oddly emphasized narration. But there's meta-absurdity in seeing the filmmaker forced to testify on Wuornos' behalf (his first doc about her was considered relevant evidence), and not even Charlize Theron's lauded portrayal of the accused can compete with the captivating genuine article, whose calculated professions of remorse barely conceal her festering rage at a lifetime of mistreatment. Most tragic is the realization that, up until her last hours, Wuornos was still capable of identifying Broomfield as a supporter and feeling guilty that she hadn't rewarded him properly for it. I know plenty of "sane" people who can't manage that kind of clarity, so I'll be damned if I let anything Wuornos did stop me from weeping over its loss.

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