Film: To Die For (1995)

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Film:

To Die For

Director: Gus Van Sant
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Distributor: Sony Pictures

If anyone ever doubts whether Nicole Kidman is a good actress, they should immediately be required to watch this outrageously wicked comedy from 1995, for which Kidman deservedly won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role. While director Gus Van Sant handles the fact-based satire with razor-sharp precision, Kidman delivers a deliciously devious performance as Suzanne Stone, a small-town New Hampshire housewife who fancies herself the next Barbara Walters, Jane Pauley, Diane Sawyer, and Maria Shriver all rolled up into one meticulously coiffed package.…

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Amazon.com

If anyone ever doubts whether Nicole Kidman is a good actress, they should immediately be required to watch this outrageously wicked comedy from 1995, for which Kidman deservedly won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role. While director Gus Van Sant handles the fact-based satire with razor-sharp precision, Kidman delivers a deliciously devious performance as Suzanne Stone, a small-town New Hampshire housewife who fancies herself the next Barbara Walters, Jane Pauley, Diane Sawyer, and Maria Shriver all rolled up into one meticulously coiffed package. So determined is she to have a successful career on TV that she’ll stop at nothing—even the calculated murder of her husband (Matt Dillon)—to get the attention she feels entitled to. To carry out her scheme she recruits some unwitting local teenagers including one boy (Joaquin Phoenix, matching Kidman’s excellence) whose infatuation with Suzanne leads to sexual escapades and predictably troublesome consequences. It’s a satirical comedy in Van Sant’s capable hands, but it’s so close to tabloid reality that the film never seems implausible—which only gives it a funnier, more blood-chilling quality of humor. Featuring Illeanna Douglas, George Segal, and Seinfeld alumnus Wayne Knight in memorable supporting roles, this is one of the best comedies of the ‘90s—especially if you prefer comedies with a decidedly darker edge. —Jeff Shannon

Related Works

Book:To Die For (Joyce Maynard)

To Die For

Joyce Maynard

In this chilling novel of ruthless ambition and sexual obession, Joyce Maynard tells the shocking story of a young woman who seduced her sixteen-year old lover into committing the cold-blooded murder of her husband. Suzanne maretto is a beautiful, aspiring TV reporter, a golden girl with adoring parents, a loving husband and an insatiable drive for the kind of picture -perfect life you only see on television. When her husband is shot dead by her teenage boyfriend, Suzanne, with calculating grace, steps into the role of grieving widow for her television audience. But few suspect her dark side. This chilling novel of sexual domination goes behind the mask of an apple-pie beauty to probe the sinister manipulation of a mesmerizing femme fatale.

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