How did Mary Harron go from movies like I Shot Andy Warhol, American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page to find herself making this movie? She’s currently making an adaption of Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, but seriously, how the hell did this happen?
My friend Jim asked me the other day, “Why do you waste time watching such horrible movies when there are so many great movies out there?” I figure that there’s gold in all that crap. But I wasn’t finding it here.
Throughout this movie, Anna sees her past and future selves as she lives her crazy life. And this thing is packed with stars! I mean, in my world Martin Landau was a pretty big name and here he’s playing Anna’s ancient daddy figure, J. Howard Marshall. Adam Goldberg has been in a ton of things and here, he’s in a borderline comedy playing Howard K. Stern. And is that Cary Elwes as E. Pierce Marshall? Yep. It is. Virginia Madsen is in this too.
That said, this is never sure if it wants to descend into parody. And it always portrays Anna in the best possible light no matter how bad the decisions she makes. The real story of Anna Nicole feels like the zeitgeist embracing and discarding a living and breathing human being who wanted so badly to feel that spotlight and would do anything to claw her way back. Watching her E! show now feels harrowing, not funny or fun.