In the real courtroom Lizzie Borden was acquitted of murdering her parents but in the court of public opinion and mythic imagination she would be forever adjudged guilty, even honored for it with the infamous 40 whack nursery rhyme. In film she would be the maddest of axe murderers with bad parenting being the grisly motivation.
Lizzie, the latest cinema exploration of her murderous mental state attempts to turn Borden (Chloe Sevigny realizing a long wished for passion project) into a feminist icon and a LBGTQ champion. Kristen Stewart is thrown in as Borden’s lusty chambermaid lover for some extra titilation and obligatory full frontal nudity.
Director Craig William MacNeil fashions Borden’s story as a twisted biblical parable, a reverse Cain and Abel story where the two lovers perpetrate the first patricide and matricide in order to cleanse and reclaim a perverted Eden. Bad parenting, narrow minded conformity, sexual intolerance and Daddy’s constant raping of the hired help are the deadly sins and murderous motivations.
Sevigny and Stewart act and lust it to the extreme grounding the two cohorts in a recognizable repression and internal rage needing justice and release. It is both chaste and hot in a way that only an overheated Victorian drama set in small town America can be.
Lizzie is a fevered lesbian wet dream. It is soft core porn for the closeted Gothic horror fan.
All photos courtesy of Saban Films and Roadside Attractions.