The true story of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute who
became America's most notorious female serial killer.
Written and Directed by Patty Jenkins
Starring Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern,
Annie Corley, Scott Wilson, Pruitt Taylor Vince
Oscar Wins - Best Actress (Charlize Theron)
Aileen Wuornos was a troubled woman. She led a hard life, became a transient prostitute, and started killing her johns and robbing them. Aileen became America's first female serial killer, though that's highly debatable. The point is she was a monster, hence the film's title. Patty Jenkins delivers a highly slanted view of Aileen's life and crimes, seemingly painting her as the victim. Now, she certainly had been victimized at times, but she also murdered seven people and showed zero remorse for it. If it wasn't for Charlize Theron's incredible performance, I'd say this was an inaccurate biopic. But she elevates this film to an insane degree, and it was a highly deserved Oscar.
The film focuses mostly on Aileen's relationship with Selby (Ricci), a young woman who falls in love with Aileen and excuses her many flaws, including murder. This relationship is based on Aileen's real girlfriend, who has since gone into hiding after Aileen was arrested. I get it. Theron and Ricci are fantastic together, and the way the film presents it, men are monsters who exist solely to take advantage of unfortunate women. In the life of a prostitute, that's likely very true. But I don't think it can be used as an excuse for serial murder, and there are times where the film tries to do exactly that. But that's the trouble with biopics. When the subject is a monster, you've gotta find someway to make the audience relate.
Monster is a tough watch at times. There's a horrific rape scene that heralds Aileen's killing spree. There are also times where reality comes crashing down onto two people who wanted so much more than life was willing to let them have. You should definitely check it out just to see Charlize Theron transform.