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Black Snake Moan

2007-12-04 15:20
What it's about:

Lust is a burning sickness for Rae (Christina Ricci), a feverish need that eats at her soul, while making her the white-trash sexual target of every man and boy in her small Tennessee town. When her true love Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) leaves for military service, Rae plunges into wild excess. Beaten and left for dead, she's taken in by Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson), a reformed blues singer nursing a deep anger of his own. Fiercely committed to his task of keeping her alive, Lazarus makes Rae his prisoner to give her a chance at freedom, and finds his own way back to the full force of life as his name suggests.

What we thought of it:

Those new to blues music might find the film's title a bit confusing, but it actually refers to a 1927 hit by Blind Lemon Jefferson about a hallucinatory and dangerous depression.

Jackson is riveting as Lazarus, the former blues musician turned farmer. This role fits him like a glove as he gives nothing but an electrifying performance throughout Black Snake Moan. Ricci is just as compelling as a trashy, wounded soul with sudden urges and twitches of uncontrollable lust. Ricci delivers a stellar performance, her best since her role in Monster (2003), while Timberlake is sincere and convincing – a real marvel to see, watch this space!

Sensitive viewers will find Lazarus' methods to save Rae from her ways quite sadistic and bizarre, as he literally chains her to his radiator.

Slick directing by Brewer earned him an Oscar nod last year for Hustle & Flow, but Black Snake Moan ups the ante with its Southern gothic stance and should get much more than just a nod for the roles played by Jackson and Ricci.

- Gugu Mkhabela
This tale of sin, deception, freedom and redemption is a trip and a half that slithers into an unexpected and uncomfortable emotional journey.

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