Downloading Nancy (2008)
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Critic Reviews for Downloading Nancy
You can't really blame Bello for taking every chance available to let her monster talent off its chain, even when the opportunity takes the form of something so ill conceived and unworthy (and dull and ridiculous) as Downloading Nancy.
Some suspense arises about just how far the woman's sickness will take her, but it's overwhelmed by the pointlessness of the story.
Downloading Nancy is a nasty exploitation flick tarted up with art-house actors and psychobabble.
A chilly, bleak film about characters so programmatic that their plight is easy to shrug off.
For all the bad behavior on display, the emotional stakes remain hazily defined.
What makes the movie a trial to sit through isn't just the heroine's pain-freak tastes. It's that a kinkfest with this blah an emotional spectrum is selling its own chic form of puritanism -- sex with all the life force repressed.
Audience Reviews for Downloading Nancy
Most films that explore sadomasochism do so in ways that can still be appealing and alluring to an audience comprised of people with relatively normal, well-adjusted ideas about sex and sexuality, but this is a notable exception. The sadomasochistic scenes in Downloading Nancy are fucking brutal, cringe-worthy, and unrelenting, and Bello and Patric are nakedly committed to "going there," living the realities of their characters. At its core, there is indeed little to this story, and we should be given some reason to hope for a different ending than what's inevitable. This lack of any true suspense is the film's major flaw. But by the same token, I think we go to independent movies to see a purposeful rejection of Hollywood's common narratives. Overall, this film is dark, disturbing, depressing, nihilistic, and courageous - the perfect date movie.
A tough sit - very good performance from Maria Bello - but man is this dreary, slow, dark stuff. After a while, you just want to scream at the screen, "Just die already!". Not without its merits, but I can't imagine someone wanting to sit through this who doesn't have to vote for the Independent Spirit Awards.
First of all, this film is by no means a feel good, popcorn popping piece of cinema. It's a rather dark, disturbing tale shot in quite dismal premises to tell a story that is real, but not one people want to hear. However, I was glued to the screen due to the brilliant acting performances by Maria Bello and Jason Patric. They portray characters whose tattered souls take comfort in one another through the internet using e-mail, pictures, and promises of sordid sexual encounters. Nancy(Bello), is a severely damaged woman due to being a victim of child abuse, and self mutilation is something that she simply can't keep herself from comitting. Her husband only cares about his virtual golf game he's set up in a downstairs room as she is suffering above. She sees a therapist, but what is it that Nancy ultimately needs? When it comes down to it, a download can contain various information, good and bad, but it does not however contain a pulse.
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