[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Lovelace opens today in limited release.]
The world wanted to possess Linda Lovelace. Celebrity always involves an aspect of ownership (it’s why we feel justified in judging the lives of famous people even though they’re personally strangers to us), but Lovelace was treated as a possession by her family, her husband, and ultimately the world as she became famous not for any aspect of her personality, but because she had one particular talent. In Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s biopic Lovelace, the filmmakers change the narrative of Lovelace from sex icon to victim of domestic abuse. The movie finds a tenuous connection between the public and private possession of Lovelace, but the narrative’s strength comes from stars Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard taking a mature approach to domestic violence, which helps Lovelace rise above its melodrama and poor structure.