It’s likely that over Christmas you will have seen at least a snippet of a Harry Potter film, they are to this generation’s Christmas TV what James Bond films were to mine, reliable viewing that unites the whole family. Since appearing as the the boy wizard, Daniel Radcliffe has worked hard not to be defined by those films, he’s played everything from an undercover FBI agent infiltrating racist gangs in Imperium, to a flatulent corpse in Swiss Army Man, yes, really. Will he succeed in leaving those films behind? Some do, others don’t.
Who do you think of when you picture Anthony Perkins? Norman Bates in Psycho? He never really left that film behind. More recently, think of Kristen Stewart, do you picture Twilight or one of her critically acclaimed art-house films? One person seemingly destined to be remembered for just one film is American actor Linda Fiorentino, and that film is 1994’s brilliant twisty noir, The Last Seduction, a great small film that exceeds expectations. Fiorentino plays Bridget, a classic femme fatale who leaves her husband and decamps, with a large bag of his cash, to a small town. Once there she seduces a local man, Mike, and proceeds to play everyone off against everyone else, leaving a trail of broken hearts, and bones, behind her. Fiorentino is simply magnificent, she outshines her seasoned co-stars and won several awards for her performance. Usually in a film like this Bridget would have some kind of personal journey, maybe a revelation, then change to become a better person. Here, she starts off bad and is happy to stay there. The film has one of my favourite closing scenes, when all seems lost for Mike he sees a glimmer of hope…..what happens next? Watch it yourself and find out.
Fiorentino’s highest profile role was in 1997’s Men in Black, since then she’s worked sporadically but to little notice. Still, if you’re going to be remembered for just one film, I can’t think of a better one than The Last Seduction, and I think even Bridget would agree.
Last Seduction (18) screens on Thursday 4th January at Kinokulture Cinema.
By Michael Hudson
From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer, published on 26th December 2017.