Amanda Seyfried delivers the performance of her career as 70s porn star icon Linda Lovelace in a biopic set to blow open preconceptions of the blue movie industry. Based on the true stories of Linda Boreman, Lovelace contains two contrasting accounts of a naive girl in her early twenties, inadvertently caught up in the turbulent world of pornography.
After escaping a semi-oppressed life under her mother (played by an unrecognisable Sharon Stone), Linda moves in with her husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard). The downhill spiral that ensues seems partly blamed on financial difficulties and, before a year of marriage is up, Linda is introduced to the world of porn as the star of Deep Throat.
Linda’s juxtaposing stories have caused much deliberation on the actual truth behind Lovelace and this film explores both concepts so convincingly that the viewer is none the wiser. At first, Linda is introduced as a sexual liberator: the poster girl for the sexual revolution, carefree and with the aspirations of a real actress. In love with the limelight and under the protection of her husband, the scenario is controversial but palatable.
This is soon replaced by Linda Lovelace as a victim of domestic abuse: she is beaten, raped, degraded, but utterly dependent on Chuck since her mother’s assertion that a woman’s role is to obey her husband.
Lovelace’s star-studded cast includes a whole host of well-known actors such as Juno Temple, James Franco (as the infamous Hugh Hefner), Adam Brody, Wes Bentley and Chloe Sevigny. With an indie feel to the overall film, Lovelace is intelligent without being pretentious, heartbreaking without being delicate and humorous without being facetious.
Sarsgaard is at his best, presenting Chuck at his most loving and most cruel. Categorically the best actor for the job, Sarsgaard has played many unpredictable characters, while Seyfried took more of a risk to play Linda. The actress has come up trumps as the dark haired, freckled “girl next door” who revolutionised the porn industry, making it more accessible and moving it away from the blonde bimbos that previously saturated blue movies.
Although the content is not everyone’s cup of tea, Lovelace is a considerate depiction of Linda’s life: a compilation of sex, drugs, rock and roll, alongside a porn star’s trials and tribulations. Ironically, the film almost mirrors the modern celebrity lifestyles that currently adorn the pages of our magazines. Definitely one to watch this summer.
Lovelace is released nationwide on 23rd August 2013.
Watch a clip from Lovelace here: