Anyone who thought this year’s Sundance lineup was a bit ennui, didn’t see A24’s electric Love Lies Bleeding tonight at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, UT. The Rose Glass directed and co-written lesbian romance crime bender starring Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian, drew hoots and hollers and big cheers throughout in an ultraviolent, twisty and turny tale of familial revenge.
Glass was greeted with a standing ovation, and O’Brian huge cheers when she hit the stage. While standing ovations aren’t the standard at Sundance ala Cannes, the applause from credits to cast hitting the stage lasted around a solid three minutes.
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By, far the most-nail-biting movie at the festival; it’s not up for sale as A24 already has dibs on the Film4 title. It hits theaters on March 8.
Stewart plays a down-on-her luck gym manager, Lou, who falls the muscular girl and competitive amateur bodybuilder, Jackie (O’Brian) in the gym. However, Jackie works for Lou’s gun-smuggling and rifle range owner dad (Harris). When Lou’s sister (Jena Malone) gets beaten by her husband (Dave Franco), Jackie takes affairs into her own hands. And everything goes wonderfully and wildly sideways.
Malone called the movie during the post screening Q&A “the best script she ever read,” Glass originally thinking of setting the feature in Scotland before she moved it to the grand scale of the Americana Southwest.
Franco said, “This is the biggest f**cking assh*le of all-time, and I need to play him.”
O’Brian said, “If I didn’t get the part, I was going to riot.”
Glass said that to balance out the crazyness in the film, she had to ground the performances.
“We all have these little monsters in here,” said Stewart about the characters in the film and the lengths that they go, “we’ll do anything to justify love.”
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