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The Neon Demon 

Wednesday, Jun 22 2016

Nicolas Winding Refn's hypnotic The Neon Demon is everything one might hope his follow-up to Only God Forgives would be, particularly for those few who recognized that much-maligned film's brilliance. Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Hollywood to become a model, and is taken under the wing of makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone) while becoming the object of intense jealousy from older models Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee). The picture is a meditation on how our culture ravenously consumes youth and female beauty, and the damage it can cause to those who pursue it — but this ain't Showgirls, and viewers looking for a campy, Peaches Christ-ready T&A-fest from the feminist Neon Demon will be sorely disappointed. Though nubility abounds, there's no nudity — until what the MPAA with its usual judginess calls "a scene of aberrant sexuality" in the third act, which also happens to be the hottest sex scene since Neon Bull (no relation). The Neon Demon is also gorgeous and dream-like, with a pink-and-purple-heavy color palette in the early going that you just want to live inside, all aided by Cliff Martinez's Goblin-tinged synth score. If Only God Forgives evoked Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, then this is Refn's Mulholland Drive, and the best film to play in theaters so far this year.


About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


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