Black Snake Moan

Viewed – 21 September 2007  DVD 

This one will probably have slipped under the radar of most people, as its another one of those moderately acclaimed indie films that never seem to share cinema space with big hitters like Transformers or Die Hard 4.0.  Yet also these films often have loads more personality and attract name actors who want to prove to the world they’re not just about glitz & glamour and can muck it out with the best of them.

This follows the story of trashy trailer park nympho Christina Ricci, who’s on a self-destructive course after her boyfriend (Justin Timberlake) leaves town to join the army, and soon she’s off getting trashed, screwing anyone who looks at her twice and generally not giving a damn if she lives or dies.  She has a Mother who has more or less disowned her, is tormented by flashbacks to an abusive past possibly from an overly friendly step-dad, and really there seems like no way out for this girl.  Then we have Samuel L. Jackson as a world-weary former blues musician who’s wife has just walked out on him to hook up with his own brother – and before long these two people are flung together when Jackson discovers Ricci left for dead on a roadside, half-naked and unconcious.

This story of redemption in the deep south is both heart-breaking and heart-warming and has an eye-opening turn from Ricci who is near naked through most of the film and is dam-sexy…but backs up the flashes of tits and ass with a powerful performance that surprisingly equals Jackson’s own troubled blues musician.  I was also impressed by how good Sam can sing, and it would seem from this evidence, he could fill out a concert hall no problem.  The film is also attractively, iconicly shot and the director obviously knows how to make Ricci look like a cult-cinema poster girl throughout.  Add to this a great soundtrack, decent support from Justin Timberlake amongst others and my only criticism would be an ending that seems too nice and easy considering all the problems these characters clearly have.

Verdict:  4 /5 


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