Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Canyons (Paul Schrader, 2013)

I neither think of The Canyons as a maligned film maudit nor a justified one. Instead, it is a film whose flaws are readily apparent but also, on occasion, the thing that makes the film so fascinating. It's hard to watch Lohan in this, not just for the times in which it looks as if she definitively wasted her potential but for the fleeting moments in which she shows she still has something to give. In all likelihood, the work is her Wrestler, a role so specifically calibrated around her downfall that she could never match it again, nor could any role offer the chance. Now, she's no Mickey Rourke, and this movie's no Wrestler (though it's tawdry, ramshackle nature reveals itself to be the level on which Bret Easton Ellis' coke-dusted nonsense should operate, instead of shinier, higher rises), but if Lohan doesn't get at least some boost from this—and she won't—part of the reason is encoded into this movie and its caustic look at an industry that sets upon anyone who dares to stop pretending that it is all good times.

My full review is up at Spectrum Culture.

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