Monster (2003 film)

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Monster
Monster movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPatty Jenkins
Produced byCharlize Theron
Mark Damon
Clark Peterson
Donald Kushner
Brad Wyman
Written byPatty Jenkins
StarringCharlize Theron
Christina Ricci
Music byBT
CinematographySteven Bernstein
Editing byArthur Coburn
Jane Kurson
StudioDEJ Productions
Distributed byMedia 8 Entertainment
Newmarket Films
Release dates
  • December 17, 2003 (2003-12-17) (Premiere)
  • January 9, 2004 (2004-01-09) (Limited)
  • January 30, 2004 (2004-01-30) (Wide)
  • April 15, 2004 (2004-04-15) (Germany)
Running time109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Germany
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million
Box office$60,378,584
 
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Monster
Monster movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPatty Jenkins
Produced byCharlize Theron
Mark Damon
Clark Peterson
Donald Kushner
Brad Wyman
Written byPatty Jenkins
StarringCharlize Theron
Christina Ricci
Music byBT
CinematographySteven Bernstein
Editing byArthur Coburn
Jane Kurson
StudioDEJ Productions
Distributed byMedia 8 Entertainment
Newmarket Films
Release dates
  • December 17, 2003 (2003-12-17) (Premiere)
  • January 9, 2004 (2004-01-09) (Limited)
  • January 30, 2004 (2004-01-30) (Wide)
  • April 15, 2004 (2004-04-15) (Germany)
Running time109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Germany
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million
Box office$60,378,584

Monster is a 2003 crime drama film about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men (she was not tried for a seventh murder) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and her fictionalized lover, Selby Wall (based on Wuornos' real-life companion Tyria Moore), was played by Christina Ricci. Patty Jenkins wrote and directed the film.

Theron received overwhelming critical acclaim and won seventeen awards for her portrayal, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress. Theron's performance garnered Monster's only Academy Award nomination. This was only the fifth time in the history of the Academy Awards in which a film's lead actress was its sole nomination and win. Previous occurrences were Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve, Jodie Foster in The Accused, Kathy Bates in Misery and Jessica Lange in Blue Sky.

Plot[edit]

After moving to Florida, Aileen Wuornos, a female prostitute, meets Selby Wall (based on Wuornos' real life lover Tyria Moore) in a gay bar. After initial hostility and declaring that she is not gay, Aileen talks to Selby over beers. Selby takes to Aileen almost immediately, as she likes that she is very protective of her. Selby invites her to spend the night with her. They return to the house where Selby is staying (temporarily exiled by her parents following the accusation from another girl at church that Selby tried to kiss her). They later agree to meet at a rollerskating rink and kiss for the first time. Though their passion and emotion is clear, they have nowhere to go and Selby goes home.

After being raped and brutalized by a client, Vincent Corey, Aileen kills him in self-defense and decides to quit prostitution. She confesses her action to Selby, while Selby has been angry with her for not succeeding in supporting the two of them. Eventually, unable to pay the bills, Aileen tries to find legitimate work, but, due to her lack of qualifications and past, prospective employers reject her, and are occasionally openly hostile to her. Desperate for money, she returns to her career as a prostitute. She continues to commit several acts of murder with intent to rob her victims, each killed in a more brutal way than last. She spares one man out of pity, when the man admits he has never had sex with a prostitute, but ultimately kills another man who, instead of exploiting her, offers help.

Aileen uses the money she steals from her victims to indulge herself and Selby; the two of them drink in bars and eat in fancy restaurants. However, as Selby reads in the papers about the string of murders and begins to suspect that her girlfriend may have committed them, the two have a falling out and Selby returns to Ohio on a charter bus.

Aileen is eventually arrested at a biker bar and speaks to Selby one last time while in jail. Selby reveals some incriminating information over the telephone and Aileen realizes that the police are listening in. To protect her lover, Aileen admits she committed the murders alone. During Aileen's trial, Selby testifies against her. Aileen is later convicted and sentenced to death.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Film critics praised Monster; most gave overwhelmingly high praise to Theron's performance as an unattractive, mentally ill[1] woman - Wuornos had antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.[2] For the role, Theron gained 30 pounds and wore prosthetic teeth. Critics called her performance, and her makeup, a "transformation".[3] Film critic Roger Ebert named it best film of the year, and wrote "What Charlize Theron achieves in Patty Jenkins' 'Monster' isn't a performance but an embodiment... [It] is one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema."[4]

Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and the SAG Award.

In 2009, Roger Ebert named it the third best film of the decade.[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

In 2004, BT released a soundtrack to the film.[6] Included with the release is a DVD featuring all fifteen original cues, and an additional nine cues that would not fit on the CD, as well as an interview with BT and Patty Jenkins, and remix files for "Ferris Wheel".

Monster
Soundtrack album by BT
ReleasedJanuary 30, 2004
Labeldts Entertainment

All songs written by BT.

  1. "Childhood Montage"
  2. "Girls Kiss"
  3. "The Bus Stop"
  4. "Turning Tricks"
  5. "First Kill"
  6. "Job Hunt"
  7. "Bad Cop"
  8. "'Call Me Daddy' Killing"
  9. "I Don't Like It Rough"
  10. "Ferris Wheel (Love Theme)"
  11. "Ditch the Car"
  12. "Madman Speech"
  13. "Cop Killing"
  14. "News on TV"
  15. "Courtroom"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. Dir. Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. 2003.
  2. ^ Profile
  3. ^ "Monster". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 2004). "Monster". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 30, 2009). "The Best Films of the Decade". rogerebert.com. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Monster Soundtrack". SoundtrackNet. August 4, 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 

External links[edit]