Crush

Overview

Produced with the help of the Sundance Institute, Alison Maclean's first feature, Crush, is a clever, gynocentric neo-noir. Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock) stars as Lane, the film's conflicted femme fatale. The film opens with Lane speeding along a winding road. She's driving her best friend and lover, Christina (Donogh Rees), a literary critic, to meet with an author, Colin (William Zappa), at his home in the New Zealand countryside. In the midst of a snarky conversation, Lane is momentarily distracted ...
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Overview

Produced with the help of the Sundance Institute, Alison Maclean's first feature, Crush, is a clever, gynocentric neo-noir. Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock) stars as Lane, the film's conflicted femme fatale. The film opens with Lane speeding along a winding road. She's driving her best friend and lover, Christina (Donogh Rees), a literary critic, to meet with an author, Colin (William Zappa), at his home in the New Zealand countryside. In the midst of a snarky conversation, Lane is momentarily distracted and drives her car off the road. The car flips over, and Christina is badly injured, while Lane walks away with barely a scratch. She goes to Colin's house, where she meets Angela (Caitlin Bossley), his shy, tomboyish teenage daughter. Lane doesn't immediately identify herself, and Angela -- thinking that Lane is actually Christina -- takes her for a walk. The charmingly aggressive Lane begins flirting with the impressionable girl, and it's clear that Angela is smitten with the brash American woman. Later, Colin arrives home, and he agrees to let Lane stay in their home for a few days. Before long, Lane has seduced him. Angela is jealous and begins going to the hospital to visit Christina, who is recovering from a severe head injury. As she recovers, regaining control of her movements and the ability to speak, Angela tells her again and again that one horrible person is to blame for her condition -- Lane. But Angela is not prepared for the harrowing results when she brings Christina home for a visit. Crush is an amusingly twisted thriller from down under, rooted in well-drawn characters, along the same lines as Jocelyn Moorehouse's wickedly clever Proof. Maclean demonstrates great skill with actors and with complex material, which is also evident in her second feature, Jesus' Son.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Alison Maclean's Crush is an enjoyably twisted psychological thriller of obsession, jealousy, and revenge. From the opening moments of the film, it's apparent that Lane (Marcia Gay Harden) is trouble. As she speeds along a winding road, her companion, Christina (Donogh Rees), explains that the New Zealand countryside is a "totally benign environment," unlike Australia with its snakes or dangerous animals, and that one really has to search to "uncover the evil." After the car accident, in which Christina is critically injured, Lane stumbles out of the flipped-over car, picks up the side view mirror from the ground, and examines her own minor injury. Thus, Maclean cleverly hints at how wrong Christina's pronouncement was. The evil may not be so difficult to uncover. Harden's performance is pivotal to the film. She makes Lane a very believable character. Lane is obviously driven by her animal impulses, but she often seems remorseful about the distress she causes, and her remorse is as real as her passion. That gives her complexity and makes her more a tragic heroine than a villain. The supporting cast is also very strong, creating essentially decent characters whose very human weaknesses cause their destructive behavior. For example, it's easy to understand why Angela (Caitlin Bossley) is first attracted to, and then resentful of Lane, and how that resentment, combined with the socially awkward teen's loneliness, leads her down a dark path. The gruesomely realistic makeup job makes Christina's once beautiful face difficult to look at, and as she recovers and begins to look like herself, the brain damage caused by her head injury still makes her a haunted and unpredictable presence. Crush has its suspenseful moments, and plenty of dark humor, but it's really a creepily effective character study. It gets under your skin.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/3/2000
  • UPC: 720917011288
  • Original Release: 1992
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marcia Gay Harden Lane
William Zappa Colin
Donough Rees Christina
Donogh Rees Christina
Caitlin Bossley Angela
Pete Smith Horse
Jon Brazier Arthur
David Stott Stephen
Shirley Wilson
Technical Credits
Alison Maclean Director, Screenwriter
Dion Beebe Cinematographer
Ngila Dickson Costumes/Costume Designer
John Gilbert Editor
Bridget Ikin Producer
Anthony Partos Score Composer
Diana Rowan Casting
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