Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
It is demonstrably an excellent film within the first 15 minutes and it gets better. It has a very good script, one which is honed with good characterization and motive, together with fine structural exposition. No other script in the 2020 Oscars has the qualities that this one has in terms of writing skill.
In terms of execution, the directing and other technical components, all coalesce brilliantly. It is probably the editing too where so many remarkable films excel that lifts the film again. The sequences in the house between the families are memorable here as the tension is raised with so much at stake.
The story has many layers which are relevant to this time: chiefly inequality, but also other themes too which are touched on in deft ways and through the characters so as to move the story along toward its rather terrible conclusion. The ending is somewhat classical; a purge clarifies the entire drama, and it is effective in its own terms, but it also the only part of script that is not entirely ideal. Other choices might have been made which do not make the one we see an error.
Signalling 'wokeness' is pointless with this film. It is a very good film and will be referenced by film makers and students for years to come. That durability is honor indeed.
This film proffers a realistic presentation of a WW1 battlefield and of the threats, the physical terrors, of such a place, but it is actually like a hybrid mediated version of that reality. The result is something like following an avatar in immersive game. This impression is confirmed at the film's end.
When it starts the camera has the viewer in the middle of the action and immediately the cleanliness of the soldiers, their spotless uniforms, their fresh faces seem at odds with the mud and shell fire. Then their dialogue is phrased and framed around a type of theatrical form. It needn't be crude or ignorant but it conveys a polished and mannered styling of men talking.
Into the action of the film, the two leads take us through the hell of Flanders with mud, rats and corpses, and as these sequences proceed it seems as if the grammar, the structure of the drama is like a multi-level game where the avatars start on one level and then move onto another encountering new places and dangers along the way. As the film progresses it becomes increasingly clear that this is the logic to the film's pacing and drama.
The impression is sealed in the second half when our hero is lost in a shattered village and meets a woman - nice quiet moment in the game here - and escaping the ruins falls over a steep waterfall and lands in lush country. Where such a high waterfall is in that part of Belgium is a mystery, and then to enter a sylvan land is even more mysterious. It as if he went up to level 8 in the game.
Then there is a battle scene with troops going 'over the top' while enemy shells rain down; meanwhile our hero is running as these shell bursts but do not disturb his relentless legs, nor shake the earth, never mind that the shock waves would upend a normal man.
It's not Passchendaele, nor any battle front as documented, but it is like a game where you are a courier sent on a deadly mission to deliver a message before the lives of 1600 men are potentially squandered.
It's not as if the film industry hasn't perpetrated a fraud with history, this one just seems more insincere than most.
Mrs Lowry & Son (2019)
This marvelous film is steeped in Beckettian tropes and style. The mother son relationship is akin to Hamm and Clov in 'Endgame', or it might be Winnie in 'Happy Days'.
Even the reality of Lowry and his mother is not so far from Beckett and his own fractious relationship with his mother. Vanessa Redgrave even resembles Beckett as an old man with his spectacles.
The film echoes Beckett's maxim, 'to fail again, fail better' almost with the same sense as Lowry follows his own path against the odds and faces years of rejection and hostility, not the least from his mother who lacks imagination and only understands what she sees, not the meaning. Indeed the film has a very strong layers of social history in it as it reveals the neuroses and social anxieties of the period in England.
The excellent script is matched by admirable directing and editing together with technical features to make the 1930s flat and town vivid.
And then there are performances from Spall and Redgrave which are the pinnacle of skill and empathy. It is a consummate and perfectly poised interaction between the two.
If only other films gave their audience as much.
Like being on long-haul flight 'Once upon a time' gradually erases the past and a sense of purpose inside a compressed space where the inflight movie consists of tracking shots of 50 year old cars on LA freeways with contemporary pop music. In between, the dramatic action is provided by actors who cruise, chew the fat, and utter prosaic lines in a knowing way.
It's then you wished you'd packed some good books, for example, books on cinema, semiotics and pop culture because it borrows, poaches and re-uses ideas and tropes which have been employed elsewhere and always in more incisive ways.
The era is observed through a Warholian gaze of banality: the TV shows, the songs, the mundane utterances of no interest, which are crafted like TV adverts i.e. a dumb slogan or assertion. Bereft of creative ideas the only strategy is to repeat, and once scaled up, the entire fraud almost resembles something like another better film.
People driving cars are not inherently interesting, nor are their faces, not even with the winking use of a song over the image. Do it over and over, pastiche the era, and perhaps it's a style. Or not.
In any case, it's a trick any film school neophyte can do and upload. And pastiche is something any artist can do before they generate the real work. Mannerists do this: take a previous idea and echo it with minor nuances, strive for an ironic mode because that looks clever. It does to the perpetrator, anyway, though the audience has already seen the con.
Al Pacino said in a recent interview that he does bad movies in the hope that they might lift and, at the very least, become mediocre. With this movie he may have attained that goal, though that is no concession, or pleasure, for the rest of us.
The Goldfinch (2019)
Normally movies transfer average books into the medium. Good or even great books don't work so well for many reasons. The case here is that the book was overrated, contrived, smug and dull. It was the sort of book that does nothing for literary fiction; rather, it is deracinated and pretentious.
At its heart it had a hero, a teenage boy, who behaved and thought like a middle-aged woman. He had no semblance to an adolescent male, not even a literary adolescent at all. And so it marched through the sheer tedium of its own arch complexity and literary affectation. The plot- not the story - underlines those defects; while the story is not sufficient to hold the eyelids open.
The bulk of the novel was a necessary trick to convince that it was a work of substance. A sham trick, as ever. Making the film two and half hours is an arrogant touch. Shakespeare told most of his plays in that time and they have more vigor than this pastiche of a drama.
It is not surprising that the movie has ironed out the entire work and made it stupefying and fatuous. In that respect it holds true to the novel but how something that narrates in prose could ever be seen as vivid on screen is a mystery.
There are many better books and better films than this one.
The Morning Show (2019)
Soviet and Nazi propaganda was quite nuanced: the audience knew they were getting a lesson but it was done quite well in an entertaining package. There would be a speech which gave the big message and the collective spirit of the workers, or another silent threatened collective, would rise and overcome their overlords.
Bearing that in mind, The Morning Show, has the same forms as that stilted and awkward style of propaganda.
It seems to have editorialized some lectures from a college on sexual politics, grafted them onto news stories around METOO and then put them into the mouths of the actors as rants. In between it oscillates between hectoring, bullying, shrieking and arm-waving.
It has tantrums every ten minutes, while displaying all the narcissistic behavior associated with the media industry.
The defects in the "message" element of the series is compounded for the viewer because a crisis opens the series and we are expected to have some interest and sympathy for characters we have only just encountered. We have no experience with the characters and so their actions, and flaws, mean nothing. This basic failure of dramatic logic makes it impossible to be involved with prima donnas who feel unloved on salaries of several million dollars in a silly industry peddling drivel as information.
Basically, the scripts are rubbish. Sure, the message is all very worthy and relevant, that dreadful word which allows bad writing to be published, but relevant can't justify writing.
The scripts are college writing level. Primitive, unsophisticated, garbage. The scripts need revising and editing: remove the bombast and focus on story and allow narrative to carry the politics and to dramatize it. No speeches. Show. A qualified writer and the editors let alone producers ought to have known something as basic as that.
Unless changes are made this show will sink. It stinks anyway so that is the next stop.
Taking Sides (2001)
A well-proportioned script as it should be from this writer and as a play, it transfers to a film well enough and the set pieces of interrogation are strong, compelling court room type drama. The antipathy of the American for his objective is solid to support the drama and Keitel's performance generates the menace of a mobster in his attacks on Skarsgård.
While Keitel's verbal attacks may seem uncouth, it does the job, and makes a nice gulf between the ordinary American and his cultured, but compromised, target.
The sense of German culture on trial, especially of its rich music, of the incomprehensibility of bodies being bull-dozed to Beethoven and Bruckner melodies gives this film a focus for the moral abyss that occurred in those years. After all, Richard Strauss was compromised too.
Furtwangler's stature as a cultural icon was immense: no mere time-keeper, his conducting goes back to the formation of the art of conducting as invented by Wagner through a chain of German-Austrian-Hungarian conductors. There was no equivalent in other countries.
In terms of facts, it is intriguing that Skarsgård did not appear bald as Furtwangler was, perhaps because it might look ridiculous.
The second one is musical as the end film uses historical footage of the notorious Hitler birthday concert where Beethoven's 9th was played and it is considered one of the most incendiary performances of that symphony. However, in the film, to wrap the story perhaps, uses the Beethoven 5th which has a logic, but the 9th, and that very performance, show what Furtwangler could do, and even today his performances are held in the highest esteem.
The King (2019)
Compared to Henry IV parts one and two and Henry V by Shakespeare this is routine drama by the numbers.
It covers the material and it looks good enough but it has no spark and the pace is typical of those mainstream sword and fantasy series which are earnest and plod through its episodes.
The Shakespeare originals are much better, imperfect in many ways, but packed with intrigue and politics and lots of humor, most of it not very elegant humor either.
Der goldene Handschuh (2019)
Not for the fainthearted. Not even for the worldly cynical. This is not enjoyable in the conventional entertainment sense: it is brutal, repulsive, despairing, terrible and powerful. It depicts the marginal lower depths of human filth, driven by its single appetite and relentless, amoral need to satisfy it.
Technically the film is a marvel, the production design and the atmosphere created means the scenes have the stench of depravity and human waste, especially in Honka's attic. Similarly, the photography and editing are compelling, and that all says that the director has done the job.
The actors are excellent, the make-up artists too, who made them into degenerate hopeless alcoholics, but the lead, Dassler as Honka, has to be noted because he has incarnated this role to an awful degree. Without that performance the film might falter, be more like a movie, not as document of murder.
If Fritz Lang could see this film, he'd be proud, because it has the same ruthless eye that he had in his German films. It takes the audience into the middle of a horror and never lets go.
Non sono un assassino (2019)
This is essentially a straightforward story which has been presented in a curious, even pretentious style, and thus made it, or attempted to make it, more complex than it is.
The basic facts are withheld to hold some degree of suspense and then it is cut up, back and forth over time, so there is an uneasiness in the relationships shown at the time.
The nature and flow of the relationship are important but the editing has made them confusing. The relationship between lawyer and protagonist is a case in point. This process is not useful because there is a basic moral story at the center of the film which is dissipated by the editing and script choices.
It is here that the soundtrack seems to play a critical role. Emerson Lake and Palmer's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' saturates the film through chase sequences and Lake's vocal accompanies the lead as he struggles at various points. The lyrics of the songs seem to underline the action, and the character of the protagonist in the film. That seems the only justification for giving so much time to this work by the band. It is not entirely worthwhile.
There's a fairly interesting story inside this film but it needs re-cutting, shaping some scenes better, and losing the pretentious air of existential angst. And a better balanced soundtrack would help too.
Can You Keep a Secret? (2019)
In 1941 'The Devil and Miss Jones' was produced. It featured Jean Arthur as a shop clerk who battled sexual and wage inequality while negotiating with a secret boss. It offered some comedy, social commentary and romance. And the director was not sympathetic to the quasi socialist views expressed either. The whole package was entertaining: capable of delivering social barbs at plutocrats, and social division.
Fast forward to 2019 and 'Can You Keep a Secret?' has some of the same ingredients but in other respects it is an entirely different piece of work. The plot hinges on a single indiscretion and the loss of pride, and while loss of face is understandable as a device, it is thin as dramatic material. Other dramatic options are eschewed, or more likely, never imagined.
The heroine has the grace and dimension of a pre-adolescent, not a grown woman. This should not be surprising, most of the cast are kid-adults. Consequently, it is not surprising that the film's social targets have the impact of a retweet.
The object of the lead's affection is an unshaven chiselled jawed alpha-male type with the charm of an umbrella stand. It is a disappointing reflection on evolutionary biology's deepest drives that this archetype remains.
The story is predictable to the point of tedium. Artificial Intelligence should be able to create a better plot than this; in order for people to do something productive with their time.
The infantilism of culture has been debated for some time but the proof may lie in this film; where adults are distressed over the things that may fully occupy the undeveloped emotions of 13 year olds. This is underlined by the hero's confessions - to square the shared secrets as children do - which should induce a large yawn.
This movie is forgettable but it does make the romantic comedies of the 1930s and '40s look better and smarter.
Der Pass (2018)
This has lots of atmosphere, not just the snow and mountains. The tightly threaded characters are linked well and each one has a strong enough backstory which adds more depth to their portrayal. The German- Austrian connection is good too and the Austrian accent is a great feature.
The story is wide enough and plausible to be exciting although its components have a feeling of familiarity to similar series, which is not a fault: this set up works and with the other material going on, the series succeeds.
The only nagging question is about Internet connectivity because the villain has excellent bandwidth and multiple devices in a remote location. Maybe this quality of connectivity is typical in rural Austria in which case it will attract an influx of technologists.
Make sure the TV is a large widescreen for the awe-inspiring scenery and enjoy.
Vita & Virginia (2018)
While the production can't be faltered, and even Virginia Woolf is impersonated quite well, there is a dramatic hole to this which is common with biographical films.
The events and the nature of the people should be more involving, more genuinely dramatic, and yet it is like the reflective scenes from a Chekhov play; somber and infected with a sense of its own importance. It doesn't make the time vivid, so much as refract the events through a literary effort. The result is tedious which is not helped by the intellectual mannerisms.
A good example here is the dullness of the Woolf circle as portrayed whereas in real life they were lively, highly sexual and amusing, amusing to the point of exhaustion. In this film they are dour; sure, we are told they are all licentious and amoral, but what we see on screen is not that.
Woolf was wickedly funny and witty. Sackville-West was verbally dexterous too. It's absent here. They are earnest and plain, and Woolf would not have tolerated that.
The outcome of this love affair is the book, 'Orlando', which if someone hasn't read it, seems a curious object. This, in a way, says much about the film, in that it is a paean to a much adored book.
Novelists, and the business of writing, are not always a success in films. Painters and musicians do better because they are more social arts, but the thrill of writing and words are, paradoxically, not easy to transmit.
The book which emerged from the affair has some prestige, though, for its ardent fans, it's best to avoid Nabokov's assessment of it: he described Orlando as pretentious, bourgeois, nonsense; a view in part, which has tended to loom over Woolf's entire body of work. Nabokov's insight may well apply to this film too. Well, Woolf was very sharp at criticism too.
This is a really stimulating film. At a superficial glance it appears to be a bit slow and uncertain but it has so many facets to it that it holds the attention and then reveals more as it progresses.
The title is an initial hook and when the metaphor plays out it's like a strange Japanese game show taken to literally. But it is a metaphor about the difficulties of navigating married life. The central idea is demonstrated in a series of crises.
At this stage it is interesting how the men react: they are mystified and concerned. It's more likely that in a Western movie - and one that is a sort of romantic comedy like this - they'd be angry and go out and get drunk. The Japanese males are shown confused, sensitive and troubled by the turn of events, discussing what it means and why.
Further on the characters work out their ideas of married life and love from female and male perspectives; of expectations and changes in the relationship over time.
This is considered, as if from a novel, and it is true that the pace of the film could be a bit quicker, though it does resolve its ideas in other scenes as the story expands.
The idea of death as am articulation of love is explained in Japanese terms which puts the film together. This is stated as a fact, where it is a long held social myth, which has been accepted as fact. Nevertheless, it makes the film a genuinely interesting experience from a cultural angle.
One other intriguing aspect is the soundtrack which is reminiscent of an early '70s rock, with touches of a Beatles' Abbey Road sound a times; an unusual choice given the themes and story, but also made it stand out.
Long Shot (2019)
The real horror of this dreck is that it's neither funny, witty, nor even interesting. It's written by hacks who have cobbled together an unlikely story as the key premise of any romantic comedy, and then utterly failed to deliver.
On the basis of this film, the genre is toast as no one should ever wish to see anything as bad as this.
The miscasting of the leads compounds the errors and the other casting choices are no better either, with limp lines and only a shrill caricature to portray, they are as engaging as TV for the under 5 year olds.
The story, such as it is, is basic virtue signalling which fails to capitalize on its targets or to make any witty commentary. Hardly surprising given how stupid the entire script is.
The romance is even worse, if that could be possible, with the oafishness, clumsiness and erotic intelligence of a prepubescent boy's furtive imaginings.
It's hardly surprising it failed commercially and all those involved should take up waiting tables.
A film about right wing racism in Germany and a groan is predictable. While following the narrative of such stories, the cast and the style of the film offer a new perspective.
The film is presented in a semi-documentary style, with scenes and transitions which are more like a documentary. The near realism - or TV like visual style - makes the building of the story interesting and unpredictable.
The present is mixed with the back story of the lead character which allows for insight without her telling us because she can't.
The cast have seemingly inhabited the roles and the script and together with the camera work, which puts the audience in the center of things, adds to the directness of the film.
The story of racist violence is counterpointed with violence at other levels between the German characters and their families. In this grim environment a brief reconciliation emerges but is quickly shattered. The ending is almost poetic in an ugly place.
A very fine achievement.
Designated Survivor (2016)
Apparently this has changed a lot but on the basis of the initial series it's a sort of fairy story for adults. Sure, the premise of the attack is potboiler action high concept etc but the really puzzling thing is the depiction of the president and of politics generally.
It's so full of preachiness and homilies and platitudes and dead air dialog e.g Thank you, No, thank you; I should apologize but thank you. It's me who should say thank you.
How the scriptwriters put this fatuous stuff on the page and got people to say it is amazing.
It seems to be constructed for an audience that likes its politics presented as fit for ages 7-11. Never mind the president hasn't any political skills, he's not very bright anyway and depends on airheads for advice. It's sickly and so far removed from actual politics and international diplomacy as to be a fairy story.
Then there's the action story component. This works slightly better but is far fetched and requires technology to do all sorts of incredible things and for a lone agent to do even more amazing things. It's really just nonsense.
Imagine a meth hazed Kristen Wiig in one of her wigs whispering like Clint Eastwood and making flinty eyed sneers at everyone, then it's possible to understand Kidman's performance in this movie. It's the sort of parody Wiig may do on SNL one day.
For the porcelain princess this is a journey into LA's dark underbelly but whether it works as a real film, or is merely extended acting class for an actor seeking Abel Ferrara's territory to add to their work, is debatable.
The film is not that successful: the technique of intercutting past and present to make a familiar story more interesting than it is, doesn't add much, but is slightly baffling at times The only clue is that Kidman's wig is different and her eyes are in the eye sockets, not sunken in the destructive pools of booze our broken heroine is consuming to forget the pain.
After the initial intrigue, it settles into a routine which is quite familiar and loses interest and pace. It's not bad, but it is not so compulsive that all other thoughts are expelled by the drama on display.
The sundered family, the errant daughter, all add to Kidman's anguish but not really to our reason to stay with it besides the morbid expectation that Kidman may change wigs, or even go bald.
We can say that along with her absurd imitation of Virginia Woolf, Kidman is not really a character actor. Maybe Kristen Wiig should have done this all along.
Zwischen den Jahren (2017)
Anyone familiar with Ken Loach's films will see great similarities here. It is the story of a man who made a grievous error and is paying for it, forever. A simple story of perseverance with a small glimmer of hope in a dreary and dismal town.
The film works due to the casting and the way the director can extract a subtle performance from simple material. The cast here is excellent, and like Loach's casts over the years, give a chipped dignity to the less than glorious lives they have. Kurth as the protagonist is a strong presence. His bulk and disheveled plainness is authentic but it's his ability to suggest emotional motive which holds attention.
He couldn't work alone and the cast with him, especially Striebeck, is effective. Overall the writing is quite good, though perfunctory in the style of this genre, but the ending was not quite as well realized as some alternatives might have offered if examined.
A German Life (2016)
An interview with a 103 year old woman interspersed with documentary
segments from the 1940s is not the sort of thing that would seem gripping. Yet, it is, because she explains and reveals her own understanding through her journey as a young woman. She can compare the world of now and its differences with the world she grew up in: it's rules and insularity, and how that spawned the events which led to war and catastrophe.
In a way this is companion piece to Hanke's 'The White Ribbon', not literally, but in the exposure of a society and time which has no resemblance to anything now in Europe. Hanke's film is fiction and with Pomsel's testimony the audience is drawn to her comprehension of herself as a young person and her life afterwards.
There is a compelling feature to her aged face as she talks, the time etched in her lines, the photography and lighting works excellently here, and fortunately for us, she is lucid and recalls the events and her impressions from over 80 years before.
The use of documentary film from various sources over the same period is well judged, and the editing the entire film coheres extremely well.
This is a great piece of documentary making and the sort of reference people will view in a hundred years to understand what that time was like to live through. And of course, it has its tragedies: the fate of her friend being poignant and terrible.
After Life (2019)
Gervais has to find another scriptwriter because on his own he's not very good. Actually he writes like a teenager. Sure, the premise of this is sad but it is a good enough notion to begin examining life and make some remarks, whether funny or not.
Unfortunately none of this is funny: it's glum and sour and, worst of all smug. Brandishing forbidden words is not very interesting, or shocking, let alone funny, now. It was when Lenny Bruce did it, but that was a long time ago.
The emptiness in the entire project is that Gervais, like a 17 year old, is desperate to be profound, to have something to say about death and loss but he is left with nothing more than bromides and the sort of irritating platitudes aged relatives offer.
This is cruising to nowhere and hopefully it will be cancelled, or, if not, a script editor and a second writer joins the team to ensure that the scripts are better than this pretentious unsuccessful and unfunny excursion into deeper waters.
Zeit der Kannibalen (2014)
This has really good writing and acting as well as a very strong idea at its center. In a way it's like a stage play but in the best sense for the screen, as it's not bound by a physical place and the camera moves, but it has the intensity that theater offers in the use of language and character over plot. The plot is very simple and the story too, but it is explored with persistence and that rewards the viewer.
It's a piece for our times: globalization, the professional business consultant as a sort of immoral priesthood which is the necessary agent for business to be conducted, all the while clipping a percentage of the gross. The characters are more than clever and perhaps have a sense of their own dilemmas, but the next consulting deal, and life between hotels and airports, makes it bearable.
Language is used very well. The script is mostly in German but it frequently pivots into business English, spoken excellently of course by the consultants, but this turn into English as the lingua franc has no roots within the speakers, whether Indian or German or African: English is for commerce, a transaction, to make money.
Worth the time and the ideas it might spur afterward.
Das Boot (2018)
For a series it had to expand the format but what has been compromised is tension and action. This is a complex multi-story plot which is not bad, but not thrilling either, and consequently it is an entirely different creative work than the source material.
The original film was very simple and very powerful: hunter and prey, physical and mental terror, comradeship and death. It was relentless, the claustrophobia and fear but there was a kind of warrior nobility to the crew's actions.
With this series we have vaguely connected stories going off in various directions and taking in nearly every part of the war with a less than gripping sense to the whole. Sure, there is violence and fear but there is no focus, no group, no specific location, as tight as a group of men on a tiny submarine who could die. The submarine in this series is full of political personal battles rather than the hunter-prey game.
It's done well and there's no reason to snipe at the production, or the actors, but this is not Das Boot in the sense of the brand property, it is something else trading on that name.
It's not tedious, but it's not edge of the seat existential trembling, either.
Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
This film is anachronistic history, where the record and the people are reinterpreted according to a contemporary attitude, or to a virtuous perspective, is arrogant and absurd. These types of films and this one especially, ought to carry a caveat.
It is a deceitful means of presenting history to an audience because it panders to prevailing mores, yet disregards the historical material. Commercially astute, yes; credible, no.
Even with attractive settings and all the capability of the technicians and designers on show cannot dispel the vacuousness in the writing which is expressed by all the actors as they utter their lines: they seem to have no idea of what they are saying and why, despite the stern faces and tight lips. It could be GoT; it could be an advert; a fantasy goth series, it doesn't matter.
The glaring deficiencies of the screen material lie with the core creative team, being a lack of insight, a lack of research and comprehension. Historical documentaries on this subject are much, much better than this film
The Favourite (2018)
This is a stylish and innovative genre film. The camera movement and angle of photography is not typical for such a film. Similarly, the writing approach is fresh and the terse characterization, along with dialogue, has a sharp and regenerating effect. Add the locations, and the strong cast around the principals, and it's an entertaining film.
Even with these artistic qualities it's a bit of a hoax: it's not history and it's not genuine biography. Sure, it exploits historical entities in some inferred behavior, but that is just speculation and not even toward an objective, that is to say, that some imagination was used to concoct as to why a policy was imposed, such as to pursue a war. No, this film is simply a salacious invention in order to titillate an audience with the idea of what may have occurred. Possibly.
In itself that is not incorrigible: Robert Graves did it brilliantly in his books on the Roman Empire. But it is just fiction, it's not history and it's no historical biography, nor anything like it. It's gossip and innuendo.
The question then is: would anyone watch this if it was invented and just about three women at any time, or does it only work on the basis that it might have been historically true and that authenticity is the necessary ingredient in which an audience gives its time. If that contingency of historical truth is removed than it's a type of fraud because it means only the smallest measure of historical truth makes it watchable and for prurient reasons.