Wednesday, July 18, 2012

THE LAST SEDUCTION (1994) - John Dahl

I had the red-hots for Linda Fiorentino after I first saw this neo-noir classic in the mid-'90s. Or, at least, for her caustic Manhattan femme fatale Bridget/aka Wendy Kroy who's slumming it on the run from husband Bill Pullman just outside of Buffalo. Do duplicitous, conniving ball-busters come any smarter or verbally bruising than Fiorentino in Last Seduction? Does anyone deliver a more corrosive one-liner? I think not.

Earlier this month, I nominated Lena Olin's Mona Demarkov in Romeo is Bleeding as the most visceral, physical femme fatale I'd ever seen in noir. But the emotional mindfuck Fiorentino lays on poor Peter Berg in this film may be more punishing than any scissor-lock Olin administers to Oldman in all of Romeo. I don't think it will surprise anyone when I call this film Linda Fiorentino's best work. Or even John Dahl's. But Peter Berg's? Yes, without a doubt, and especially in terms of his directorial efforts. Give me Linda Fiorentino's smoke rings and murder-by-proxy schemes over Hancock or Battleship any day of the week.

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