To Die For

To Die For

4.3 6
Director: Gus Van Sant

Cast: Gus Van Sant, Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix

     
 

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The price of fame is murder -- or at least it is in the mind of one woman in New Hampshire. Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman) has spent most of her life wanting to be famous; she's attractive, speaks well, and imagines herself to be intelligent ("imagines" is the key word here), so she has set her sights on becoming a TV anchorwoman. However, opportunities for female… See more details below

Overview

The price of fame is murder -- or at least it is in the mind of one woman in New Hampshire. Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman) has spent most of her life wanting to be famous; she's attractive, speaks well, and imagines herself to be intelligent ("imagines" is the key word here), so she has set her sights on becoming a TV anchorwoman. However, opportunities for female broadcasters are hard to come by in Little Hope, New Hampshire, and she's convinced that her husband, the once handsome but now flabby restaurant manager Larry Maretto (Matt Dillon), is just getting in her way. Suzanne gets herself a spot hosting a weather report on a local public access station, and is preparing a documentary called "Teens Speak Out," which puts her in touch with a trio of high school students -- Jimmy (Joaquin Phoenix), Russell (Casey Affleck), and Lydia (Alison Folland) -- who are even more desperate for attention than she is. When Suzanne hatches a plot to get Larry out of her life once and for all, she uses Jimmy, who has developed a serious crush on her, to do her dirty work, but Larry's sister Janice (Illeana Douglas), who has long believed there was something fishy about Suzanne, eventually begins to realize what happened to her brother. Nicole Kidman won a Golden Globe award for her work in this film, which represented something of a comeback for director Gus Van Sant after the commercial and critical disaster of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Screenwriter Buck Henry plays a small role as a high school teacher.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Tart, entertaining, and just off-center enough to please longtime fans of director Gus Van Sant, To Die For is that rarest of creatures: a subtle satire that actually works. Quasi-documentary footage, out-of-sequence chronology, plenty of foreshadowing, and artful little flourishes keep the film from devolving into shrillness or camp, like the similarly themed Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. Nicole Kidman deserves every bit of credibility she earned with her note-perfect performance as a power-hungry manipulator dripping with middlebrow condescension behind a careful WASP facade. Telescoping media-savvy truisms into disturbing manifestos, Kidman's Suzanne Stone voices the average American's TV aspirations, but takes them to their logical, yet monstrous, extreme. Underneath the surface, though, To Die For is as much about subtle class prejudice as it is about the media. To that end, a ridiculously rich supporting cast helps Van Sant milk Buck Henry's screenplay for every nuance and laugh. Joaquin Phoenix, Illeana Douglas, and Alison Folland are the standout players in a cast that also includes fine work from Matt Dillon, Holland Taylor, Dan Hedaya, and Wayne Knight. At this point it's not even worth pointing out that To Die For seems smarter and more prescient with every passing year; like Network before it, the film is full of tabloid outrages that already seem quaint compared to the current media landscape.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/07/2010
UPC:
0014381693027
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
R
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:46:00
Sales rank:
29,229

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicole Kidman Suzanne Stone Maretto
Matt Dillon Larry Maretto
Joaquin Phoenix Jimmy
Casey Affleck Russell
Illeana Douglas Janice
Alison Folland Lydia Mertz
Dan Hedaya Joe Maretto
Buck Henry Mr. H. Finlaysson (teacher)
Wayne Knight Ed Grant
Kurtwood Smith Earl Stone
Holland Taylor Carol Stone
Susan Traylor Faye
Maria Tucci Angela Maretto
Tim Hopper Mike Warden
Michael Rispoli Ben DeLuca
Gerry Quigley George
Conrad Coates Weaselly Guy
Ian Heath Student
Nicholas Pasco Detective
Eve Crawford Reporter
David Cronenberg Man at Lake
Tom Quinn Skating Promoter
Simon Richards Chester
Philip Williams Babe Hines
Kyra Harper Mary Emmett
George Segal Actor
Ron Gabriel Sal

Technical Credits
Gus Van Sant Director
Joseph M. Caracciolo Executive Producer
Curtiss Clayton Editor
Eric Alan Edwards Cinematographer
Danny Elfman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Howard Feuer Casting
Patricia Green Makeup
Buck Henry Screenwriter
Carol Lavoie Set Decoration/Design
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor Costumes/Costume Designer
Missy Stewart Production Designer
Jonathan Taplin Executive Producer
Laura Ziskin Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Standard
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [3:39]
2. Introductions [3:55]
3. Girl Of His Dreams [5:12]
4. The Laura Show [2:49]
5. The Wedding [:53]
6. Florida Honeymoon [1:25]
7. Settling Down [5:20]
8. Tv Convention [4:52]
9. Gangbusters [3:31]
10. Walter [2:26]
11. Rain Or Shine [1:31]
12. Today's Guest [4:18]
13. Signing Up [1:57]
0. Teens Speak Out!
15. James, Not Jimmy [4:17]
16. Sign-off Report [5:01]
17. Dressing For Success [2:17]
18. Chester [3:23]
19. Seduction Dance [2:25]
20. Lydia Returns [8:34]
21. Anniversary Party [1:12]
22. Good-bye Larry [6:03]
23. The Funeral [2:30]
24. Reality Check [1:51]
25. Ed's News [2:24]
26. Under Arrest [11:24]
27. Iced [3:06]
28. Life Plus 30 [6:50]
Side #2 -- Widescreen
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [3:39]
2. Introductions [3:55]
3. Girl Of His Dreams [5:12]
4. The Laura Show [2:49]
5. The Wedding [:53]
6. Florida Honeymoon [1:25]
7. Settling Down [5:20]
8. Tv Convention [4:52]
9. Gangbusters [3:31]
10. Walter [2:26]
11. Rain Or Shine [1:31]
12. Today's Guest [4:18]
13. Signing Up [1:57]
14. Teens Speak Out! [3:01]
15. James, Not Jimmy [4:17]
16. Sign-off Report [5:01]
17. Dressing For Success [2:17]
18. Chester [3:23]
19. Seduction Dance [2:25]
20. Lydia Returns [8:34]
21. Anniversary Party [1:12]
22. Good-bye Larry [6:03]
23. The Funeral [2:30]
24. Reality Check [1:51]
25. Ed's News [2:24]
26. Under Arrest [11:24]
27. Iced [3:06]
28. Life Plus 30 [6:50]

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