Monster (spoilers)

This is the story of a life-long prostitute trying to turn her life around, but inadvertently digging a hole she can’t escape. You can’t help but feel sorry for this abused loner, looking from the inside out. Great acting by Charlize Theron, I guess I can say “great”, Ebert says, “This is one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema”. I have no grounds to argue with him.

Ebert’s review:

I haven’t seen it yet, but the biggest complaint I have heard is that the movie makes the audience feel too sorry for Aileen Wuornos. Hard life or not, she was a cold-blooded killer.

I am really looking forward to seeing it through. Just the small bits I’ve seen have left my mouth hanging open. I was very skeptical when I heard Charlize had been cast, but now I can’t picture anyone else in the role. Truly amazing transformation.

I don’t think it makes her seem too sympathetic. I care, sure, but I didn’t feel like the movie wanted to excuse her.

I left the movie very curious about Selby Wall’s life after the trial. Google doesn’t help me, though.

Great movie, but I had that problem with it.

It seems to me we saw, essentially, a dramatization of Aileen’s defense at trial. How do we know any of those events happened as they were presented in the film? We only have Aileen’s word. Her victims aren’t around to dispute her.

[spoiler]Maybe she killed her first victim because he raped her (as presented in the film). Or maybe he just made the mistake of flashing some cash and Aileen decided she wanted it. We don’t really know. Yet all we see on film is Aileen’s side of the story. Her victim, of course, isn’t around to rebut her.

Same with her other murders. Maybe she showed some remorse, as portrayed in the film. Or maybe she killed without conscience. I’m more inclined to believe the latter.[/spoiler]

The one objectively true moment in the film was Wournos’s rabid outburst in the courtroom following her conviction. (Presumably taken from transcripts and/or footage of the trial, so not subject to varying accounts.) That may have been our only glimpse at the real Aileen Wournos-- a vicious, hateful creature.
Still, it was a very powerful movie, with a great performance by Charlize Theron. She deserves an Oscar.

See the movie; just don’t take the film’s version of events as gospel.

I believe the name “Selby Wall” is an alias.

I think it was CNN that showed footage of Aileen’s actual outburst in the courtroom on a split-screen with the corresponding clip from the film. The similarity was incredible. It was at least one moment where the film pretty much nailed real life.

It amazes me how Christina Ricci can get older every year but still pass as a 16 year old. She certainly has that wide-eyed adolescent look mastered.

Theron’s portrayal of Wuornos was sensational. Most acting rolls require a good mastering of the voice and facial expressions of your subject, she did an excellent job of that, but the body movement, the twitches, the sauntering gate, this was truly an exceptional performance from head to toe.

Why do you have to believe that any killer must be a total sociopath with no reedeeming qualities? I don’t know if the events as portrayed in the movie are factual or not, but even given the benefit of the doubt, if the events happened just as the movie and Aileen’s defense lawyer claims, she is still guilty of murder.

The first killing may have been justified, perhaps she could have been aquitted for self-defense (if that’s the way it happened). But that doesn’t exonerate her in any way from being guilty in all the other murders.

The movie even specifically shows (her last murder) to be one where the victim is totally un-threatening, only offering her a ride to be helpful and not even to “legitimately” have sex. That last one clears away any doubts that regardless of her past and her original motivations, she is totally guilty of murder in the worst case.

I certainly don’t believe that every single serial killer has ZERO redeeming qualities whatsoever, or that every single one had NO extenuating circumstances that pushed them over the edge.They are still guilty of course, because no amount of provocation or victimization excuses cold-blooded murder. Aileen deserved what she got, the movie just goes a long way to explain to us non-psychopaths how someone can get to be that way.

A chilling and powerful film.

Selby’s real name was Tyria Moore. I just finished reading Lethal Intent and was surprised to find Tyria described as short, heavy, red-haired and mannish looking. As portrayed in the movie, Tyria did set up a phone sting to get Aileen to confess. Tyria was also never charged with a crime.

I would disagree entirely. The movie is incredibly powerful, and I was left emotionally drained for a week or so afterward, but I never once thought that the movie was trying to excuse her actions. Rather, I felt that it was an EXPLANATION, and a damned good one at that, as to why she (maybe) turned out the way she did.

Why do you have to believe that any killer must be a total sociopath with no reedeeming qualities?


Where did I say that? I just doubt that Aileen Wournos is (was) as sypathetic a figure in real life, and I would be cautious about accepting as gospel a film apparently based entirely on the killer’s version of events. It is just as plausible that she killed every one of her victims just to get money, and not because she was abused, or acting as some kind of avenging angel. Like I said, we’ll never know, because her victims aren’t around to dispute her version of events.