Unfortunately, someone else seems ready for Paula to exit, stage left, in real life. Plot. The film was released on March 24, 2017, by Netflix. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. has done it with more heart on television. Dismiss. Grand Guignol, named for the Parisian theater that perfected the form and where the bulk of this film is set, is perhaps only familiar to those who took theater history in college. In true French spirit, this film does horror with style (and is based on a true story!). Imagine a life where your art is the daily endeavour of creating your own death in the most exquisitely horrific manner possible. In this well-trodden territory, The Most Assassinated Woman in the World has little to add and seems unsure of what if wants to say. Voted most likely to ruin her brain with junk films. Unfortunately, the story that the film tells is far less exciting than the art form to which it pays tribute. That can’t be good. The combination of gross, bloody scares and high theatricality once featured there set the tone for the modern slasher film we know today. . She endures the grimmest and bloodiest moments of the proceedings with a charming detachment that most American actors would never consider and livens up the film whenever she is given a close-up. Before the rise of film and television, the theater was not just a place where people went for high-brow entertainments and musicals. Good work deserves recognition even in weak films, and this group leaves you wishing you had a ticket to their theater. theatrical tradition as a vehicle to explore modern issues. The man in question seems much more interested in Paula’s bloody death than anything his lover has to offer. The French film, which debuted this week on the streaming platform, attempts to use the legendarily violent, bloody, terrifying, yet somewhat campy. have taken on the realities of the theater more compellingly on film, and. There is some comment to be made on our present moment through the lens of the once beloved gross-out genre of Grand Guignol, something that connects our historic fascination with dead, pretty women with the current moment, but this film is not sure what that might be. She has been stabbed, shot, beheaded, raped, and murdered for the enjoyment of Parisian theatergoers, and playing the role of the eternal victim has made her quite famous. Change ). The acting is equally uninspired. Watching her die again and again is a pleasure. In order to “live” the dream, you just “be” the dream. The true beauty of The Most Assassinated Woman In The World, however, is its arc. This was the pact of Paula Maxan, the stage name of Marie-Therese Beau and the real-life star of the French Grand Guignol theatre. For lovers of technique, it is a banquet. It stars Melissa Leo as Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Mostly because he’s a douche? However, there are a lot of elements that never feel fully fleshed out. That magic means the medium will live on regardless. fails to capture any of what makes the theater special. The combination of gross, bloody scares and high theatricality once featured there set the tone for the modern slasher film we know today. Hundreds of years of storytelling and performance came before film and television, and there is something visceral and beautiful about live performance that even the best films can’t replicate. The most interesting moment of the film, our introduction to Paula, where she explains with weary confidence how many times she has been killed, is never followed up. Like Paula’s past, will this story end in tragedy? THE MOST ASSASSINATED WOMAN IN THE WORLD / DIRECTOR: LAURENT BARES / SCREENPLAY: JAMES CHARKOW, DAVID MURDOCH, FRANCK RIBIERE, VERANE FREDIANI / STARRING: ANNA MOUGLALIS, NIELS SCHNEIDER, LEAN-MICHEL BALTHAZAR, JULIE RECOING / CERT: 18 / RELEASE DATE: TBC. The special makeup effects of Jean-Christophe Spadaccini, and the visual effects team comprised of Guillaume Pondard, Gael Durant, Cedri Decottignies, and Dave Decottignies, deserve special recognition. The influence of Grand Guignol cannot be understated in theater, film, and television: You can trace elements in the work of many great modern directors, from Quentin Tarantino to Guillermo del Toro, back to Grand Guignol. Hulu’s ‘Bad Hair’ has good scares but needs more shape, Before the rise of film and television, the theater was not just a place where people went for high-brow entertainments and musicals. There is an interesting story that could have been plotted amid the missteps of The Most Assassinated Woman in the World. This is, however, also where the film’s main concern lies: it falls in love with its own vision rather too much. Without spoiling things, let’s just say that this is not a parable for the Me Too moment after all. This arc is far less interesting than the murder-mystery plot and has been tackled with greater depth elsewhere. He’s immediately intrigued and determined to learn more about the glamorous, aloof star. While her fame has drawn adulation, it has also drawn sinister infatuation. Even when Mouglalis is asked to deliver on-the-nose lines like, “Dying onstage keeps me alive,” she maintains a sharp vibrancy to her performance than all but blows her other actors off-screen. This is the kind of film where I anticipate a clever twist, but the end is just…a very French ending indeed. The rest of the cast lends similar support. Rather than bequeathing dry instruction on performance history, the wraparound story uses era-specific storytelling techniques to ensure the audience is in on the secret and yet can mull its central mystery beyond the confines of the celluloid. Just as the makeup team from. The theater has lessons to teach us. While utterly understandable, it does mean the middle section of the narrative drags endlessly and risks the audience losing sight of the beauty of the composition simply because it becomes over-exposed. Director Franck Ribiere and writer James Charkow take a paint-by-numbers approach that feels particularly stale whenever Mouglalis isn’t on-screen.