Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Written by: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, and Annie Corley
You don’t have to say someone’s name to show who they are. Some of the best biopics, most notably this one and Todd Hayne’s I’m Not There, never acknowledge the subject’s name until the very end. On IMDB, Charlize Theron is cast simply as Aileen, not Aileen Wuornos.
Monster is proof of a lot of things, most notably that there really isn’t much to a name when you think about it. Selby (Christina Ricci) simply calls her new lover Lee, an affectionate name in comparison to what most other people call her.
Street walker, hooker, prostitute- whatever you want to call her job, it defines her more heavily than anything in the sordid past that led her to it. Monster starts out grabbing for your heartstrings, as Aileen narrates a look at her troubled childhood with a musing about being discovered like Marilyn Monroe. In the enhanced colors of this dreamy flashback, we cut abruptly to her as an adult in the 80’s, sitting under a highway overpass as it pours rain. In this movie, there are happy moments, and there is life.