A Private War
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All Critics (23)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (4)
One of John Waters' best and most notorious movies.
It is this reversal, the realization that the freak is an essential part of a social whole and that beauty falls into contradiction by attempting to be both normative and expressive of individuality, that Female Trouble executes in uproarious fashion.
A healthy appreciation of both low and high art gives one a balanced perspective that can enhance the understanding of both aspects... Female Trouble uses this concept of the duality of ugliness and beauty in the characterization of Dawn.
Further cementing John Waters' legacy as that rare filmmaker who can weave between exploitative trash and high art.
This delectable trash from John Waters may not be quite as flagrantly tasteless as Pink Flamingos or Multiple Maniacs, but it's still best to lock up your kids and hide your heterosexuals.
If you are looking for a film to unearth your deepest, most subconscious fears-and to stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone-then Female Trouble is for you.
The Pop of Trash's follow-up to Pink Flamingos is a more hilarious, shocking and poignant feature, with Divine in top form.
How does one follow up a legendary affront to decency? In John Waters' case, he moved on.
There's nothing divine about this earthly piece of trash.
Combined with...Waters' own private peculiarities, Female Trouble stands along side Pink Flamingos as a sure sign of this director's depth and talent.
For John Waters purists, this will be upheld as the real thing, but for most others, the licentious social commentary will only disgust or shock.
best seen as an early stab at satirizing the media and the overwhelming hype that is lavished on high-profile criminals
While this revolting film is daring, funny and provocative for quite some time, soon it becomes insufferable with a bunch of people shrieking around without end and yelling at each other for much longer than our patience can take (hell, of course, this is John Waters).
The criminal career of Dawn Davenport is documented in an attempt to prove the thesis "crime equals beauty," in typically gross Waters fashion featuring psuedo-rape, tacky wallpaper, child abuse, absurd makeup, a woman imprisoned in a bird cage, beehive hairdos, mainlining eyeliner, Divine as a go-go dancer, implied paedophilia, puke, murder, and Edith Massey's saggy naked breasts. Badly acted, edited and photographed--by design. Waters holds up a distorted lens to the unique stylistic and moral ugliness of the 1970s and creates a uniquely nightmarish world. Similar, but more focused, less gimmicky and funnier than the more famous PINK FLAMINGOS. Unflinchingly ugly and almost impossible to like, but worth seeing for adventurous cinemaphiles simply beacuse Waters' vision is utterly unique.
God bless John Waters. He's made some of the best, crudest feel-good movies, and this is one of his crowning achievements. It's amazing how his film, ugly-looking and full of lipstick-smeared freaks, can feel positive and upbeat; while he's mocking everything in sight, he doesn't stand back and protect himself with irony or winks -- he jumps right in there, and that involvement, that energy, is easy to see and feel. It's amazing that he can feature masturbation with needle-nose pliers, beating a child with a chair, a game of "car accident," and Divine literally screwing himself and not have it be off-putting.
The very idea that Waters uses a fat transvestite with a beehive hairdo to illustrate his scorn for school shows he's not so interested in subtlety. And Divine is awesome, as always, his prissy, gravely scream -- a freak you want on your side. This is one of Waters' best satirical attempts -- there are digs at hippies and Hare Krishnas, and two scenes in particular are very prophetic: the gay encouraging, and the killing for art. Waters even mocks his own shameless exhibitionism in the testimony of the Dashers
For roughly half of its running time this plods along aimlessly but very entertainingly. However, when it finds focus and becomes a poorly developed satire on the celebrity of criminals, the gags dry up and boredom sets in. The problem is, because Dawn Davenport's so-called criminality is barely represented until her final murderous outburst, her claim to fame and notoriety seems very tenuous indeed. Like it or loathe it, "Serial Mom" tackled a similar theme more pointedly and more amusingly.
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