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In 1892, socialite Lizzie Borden was the prime suspect for the brutal murders of her rich but miserly father and stepmother. Infamously, she was never convicted, with the court ruling that a woman of her social standing simply couldn’t have committed such an atrocity. This drab riff on the true story stars Chloë Sevigny as Borden, with Kristen Stewart donning a committed Irish accent as her maid, lover and accomplice, Bridget.
A two-hander with actresses of this calibre should be a humdinger, but very little about this misjudged period drama works properly. There is the issue of the lesbian romance, which is presented as a response to Bridget’s rape; Lizzie’s epileptic fits, introduced then swiftly abandoned; expositional dialogue to telegraph the film’s politics (“Men don’t have to know things, women do,” Lizzie tells Bridget). Most irritating is the murder scene itself, which sees both women stripping nude, seemingly in order for the camera to leer more effectively at their bodies rather than to spare them getting their petticoats bloodied.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Lizzie review – an infamous murder mishandled | Period and historical films