Savage Grace is the true story of Barbara Daly Baekeland, whose murder in a London flat in 1972 sent shockwaves across the UK and America
Sixteen years on from Kalin’s directorial debut, Swoon, a super-arty dramatisation of the Leopold and Loeb case, the enfant terrible of ‘New Queer Cinema’ has returned with another true-crime tale. The American tragedy of Barbara Daly Baekeland (Moore), wife of the heir to the Bakelite millions (Dillane), is a tale with everything: desertion, drugs, booze, orgies, suicide bids and incest. But whereas Swoon approached homicide with the detachment of a ’90s-style mag, Savage Grace is simply hysterical: a film as harsh, brittle and unbalanced as its characters. Some will see the wavering performances and histrionic dialogue as in keeping with the insanity of the tale. Others will simply hoot in derision.
Savage Grace is simply hysterical: a film as harsh, brittle and unbalanced as its characters.