Review of "Lizzie” by The Headless Critic
Lizzie – 2019
Production by: Powder Hound Pictures, Artina Films, Destro Films
Distribution by: Roadside Attractions
“Lizzie Borden took and axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”
In 1892 the socialite Borden family took on a new maid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart). Bridget became close with the Borden’s live-in youngest adult daughter Lizzie (Chloë Sevigny). On the morning of August 4th, 1892 Lizzie called for help having found her father Andrew Borden (Jamey Sheridan) hacked to death on their sofa. In the bedroom, her stepmother Abby (Fiona Shaw) had met the same deadly fate.
Due to media attention, some version of this hundred plus year old true crime tale is known throughout the country. What actually happened that night was never known. The Bryce Kass penned version of the infamous case of Lizzie Borden mirrors the 1980’s Ed McBain novel also titled “Lizzie”, telling of a lesbian love connection between Lizzie and maid Bridget Sullivan in a time that wasn’t accepted.
A slow moving tale of befits the time at the end of the nineteenth century. The forbidden lesbian love affair is less likely but also would fit the time period if true. This Craig William Macneill directed Lizzie bares all in brutal slayings of parricide, exposing actresses Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart in the process. The well thought out and put together slayings by Lizzie don’t seem to match her distraught and scattered testimony of the time. While perhaps not factual and the film itself fails to capture the reality of the time period, it is nonetheless an entertaining hatchet job of the real life original famous case of a woman who snapped.
Available Now on Shudder
3 out of 5 Headless Critics