by Zack Roddy
Based on the real life murder of Barbara Daly Baekeland, who was murdered by her son Antony Baekeland (whom she also had an incestuous affair with) in her London home in 1972, Savage Grace, dramatizes the story for the silver screen. Beginning in the 1950s, Savage Grace starts with Barbara Daly (Julianne Moore), a former model and actress marrying above her class to Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), the heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. The result is their son Antony, or Tony as his mother loves to call him. As the years pass, the Baekelands move from one European city to the next, as an excuse for Barbara to escape from her depression, and for Brooks to pursue other, younger women.
[youtube width=”305″ height=”255″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXt9BkL3NnU[/youtube]
This does massive psychological damage to their now teenage son Tony (Eddie Redmayne). A failure in his father’s eyes because he is homosexual, Tony begins to parrot his mother’s lifestyle choices, and as the years progress, Barbara and Tony soon have nothing but each other to depend on, and their tempestuous relationship leads to an abrupt and shocking conclusion.
Savage Grace is excellent film, directed with great skill by Tom Kalin, with an equally ingenious script by Howard A. Rodman. Julianne Moore turns in a fearless and provocative performance as the doomed Barbara, commanding the screen even when she is not the focus of the scene. As Tony, Eddie Redmayne is equally as brave, holding his own against Moore. Another great touch was the many lush and beautiful European locations used throughout the picture, adding a definite sense of authenticity to story. Provocative, dramatic, and equally comic, the film is a must see.