By Stephanie Zacharek
By Simon Abrams
By Michelle Orange
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Nick Schager
By Amy Nicholson
By The Invisible Woman
By I Used to Be Darker
Only in one regard does Haynes miscalculate, and (ironically enough) it's with the music. There's too much of it. Almost every scene has a song prominently in its back- or foreground. Fine. The logic there is obvious, and the soundtrack--featuring songs by T. Rex, Roxy Music, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and a few modern-day approximations thereof--is well-chosen. But there are also a number of performance sequences/faux-video-type situations, and while it could be argued that their accompanying lyrics sometimes serve as plot devices, the scenes/songs ultimately become grating. At least the last three are actively annoying; you feel the whole thing gaining momentum, only to be stopped cold by yet another sequence of Rhys-Meyers fopping around to some glam tune. It may have started as a device, but it ends by descending into mannerism.
Then again, maybe Haynes just knew his subject too well; after all, being blinded by one's own prettiness was no small part of the glam manifesto. If so, it's to the director's further credit that he was able to extract something meaningful from all that preening.
Written and directed by Todd Haynes. Starring Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Christian Bale and Toni Collette.
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