And the only reason I didn't hate this one worse than Gladiator is because no one gave it a best picture Oscar. I'm not sure what about Performance provoked such a visceral revulsion that I had to split the viewing over two days, and was visibly twitching during the last half hour. That it tries so hard to be shocking in both content and style and so isn't? The "unconventional" edits that the movie just sort of drops in the last two thirds? The screeching sounds? The, as my brainmate put it, flashy parts? Don't know, but god, this one hurt. And part of what is so disappointing is that the plot itself--a gangster on the run holes up with a rock star hermit--has so much promise! Here are some genres that I think would have made much better use of the story:
Comedy: This has the potential to be hilarious. The hardened gangster rolling his eyes at the whiny excesses of the rock star? Trying to pretend that he's a European juggler, and everyone believing him?
Horror: Make it a straight-up thriller. The gangster literally cannot leave this bohemian house of horrors, and he is at the mercy of three drugged-out sociopaths with no impulse control or sense of consequences. It would be like a modern-day Dracula!
Porn: Look, it sort of wanted to be pornographic anyway, but managed neither to titillate nor to really push any sexual boundaries. So just let Showtime after Dark have a field day.
As is, I just really couldn't stand it. What do you think it was going for, Nat? At times I thought it was going to try to make some sort of statement about British masculinity, or about post-war economics, but that never really materialized. And what about that chick who looks exactly like Mick Jagger?