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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Evan Rachel Wood
David Wagner
Adi Schnall

Ron Livingston
James Woods
Jane Krakowski.
Directors
Marcos Siega.
Screenwriters
Skander Halim.
Running Time
110 minutes

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Pretty Persuasion
A scheming minx wreaks havoc in high-school America.


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Plot
Kimberley Joyce (Wood) is a scarily smart, even more scarily sexy 15 year-old schoolgirl who’s greatest ambition in life is to become a famous actress. And she’ll do anything to bathe in the limelight — even if it means ruining her teacher (Livingstone) through false accusations of sexual abuse.


Review
Pretty Persuasion

While shooting Pretty Persuasion, Thirteen star Evan Rachel Wood was said by the crew to be “a teenage version of Nicole Kidman in To Die For”. And with good reason. A slender, frosty and pathologically ambitious high-schooler who is fully aware of the power of her raw sexuality, Wood’s Kimberley Joyce is a seductive she-devil in the tradition of To Die For’s Suzanne Stone Maretto, Election’s Tracy Flick — The Last Seduction’s Bridget Gregory, even. “It’s like the world’s this orchestra, and I’m the conductor,” she hisses at one point. Given her potent employment of oral sex (on both sexes), she may well have added that her tongue is the baton.
 
  Yet, look beyond Wood’s unblemished evocation of this fascinating creature, and the film does suffer some unfortunate acne-scarring. Structurally, it’s all over the place, back- and forward-flashing with scant regard for pace. Even worse, the portrayal of Kimberley’s Muslim friend Randa (Adi Schnall) is sadly crass. Peeking out from under her hegab with doe eyes,  this 2D naïf is also at the centre of the story’s biggest tonal mis-step.
 
Thankfully, such thunks are few enough to let Wood’s lighter touches dominate. So measured is her performance, she even convinces us that there’s a soul beneath all Kimberley’s amoral scheming.


Verdict
A teenie To Die For whose flaws are superceded by a complex, compelling turn from Evan Rachel Wood.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Pretty Persuasion
Empire Star Rating

The performance makes the film

There are some parts in the film that are very good mind you. Like the gun shot and the subtitle coming up to the chalk board writing. And that performance is great to watch for anyone who's a fan of that ever so radiant Evan Rachel Wood. So watch it! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monkeyhumour at 06:09, 02 April 2010 | Report This Post


Pretty Good Film Thanks To It's Lead

Incredible acting from Evan Rachel Wood leaves this film lingering in the minds of many. Ths film really shows the determination of one girl's struggle to fame as she manipulates and emotionally scars everyone around her including her two best friends."The world is my orchestra and I', the conductor". The plot is quite scary in a sense of the manipulation, lies and deceit that Kimberly uses to frame her teacher of sexual abuse. Pretty Persuasion has moments of dark comedy, teen bitchin... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Filmfreak666 at 20:54, 16 June 2007 | Report This Post


To Die For

Quite underrated cross between Heathers and To Die For, with a great script and killer ending. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 16:29, 01 February 2007 | Report This Post


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