The first of two on-going series this month is all about Women in Film. It could be genres, actresses, filmmakers, whatever we please but it will be about one thing… Badass Women. Badass doesn’t have to tote a gun, they could just be tough as nails to take on An All-Boys Club like directing or Genre films. In fact, every Woman is a badass in their own right…
Domino Harvey is a true life figure that almost seems larger than life. Daughter of Laurence Harvey (star of The Manchurian Candidate) and Model that burned that particular life to the ground to become a Bail Bonds Woman aka A Bounty Hunter. Imagine, one of the Kardashian’s throwing their luxy life away to bust criminals with maximum force? You can’t. It doesn’t seem real. That kind of pedigree deserves a legend at the helm to give this story the “oomph” it needs. Enter Tony Scott. The late great (and sorely missed) helmer takes the story that could have been your typical A-B-C-A-woman-become-a-bad-ass story and make it into a mescaline fueled hyperbolic statement on Race, Class and Fame in America. It all ends atop the Straphosphere in Las Vegas as only Tony Scott could have perceived. At the center of this madness is Kiera Knightley as Domino Harvey… badass supreme. Knightley was never given a role as wild and kick ass since. Domino seems almost like liberating as a role, allowing Knightley to literally punch the douche bags that would have her boxed into a specific type of role. Like Susan Sarandon, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt before her Knightley has finds complicit accomplice in director Tony Scott. Scott for his part shoots Knightley like an of his stars before her; a complete and total badass.
Domino is a wild ride through the 90’s that like most Tony Scott films was released about ten years too soon. The film doesn’t shy away from the pulpier and “cheekier” aspects of the story with Beverly Hills 90210, Jerry Springer, and the E! Channel playing major plot points in the film. Scotty pulls it together in an unexpectedly strong way taking it the kitsch out of the entire proceedings. Add in some truly great supporting work by Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Delroy Lindo, and THE Dabney Coleman … you’ve got yourself a cult action comedy dujor. The film does not shy away from the darkness that is the Domino Harvey story but Scott does not delve into the corruption and major drug use (though strongly hinted at here). Scott is more interested in what made Domino Harvey tick rather than the demons that surrounded the last part of her life. Also of note the film has one of the early truly great Mo’Nique performances before she would be nominated for her searing performance in Precious.
Release Year: 2005
Director(s): Tony Scott
Writer(s): Steve Barancik, Richard Kelly
Cast: Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Delroy Lindo, Mo’Nique, Dabney Coleman, Lucy Liu, Macy Gray, Riz Abbasi, Jacqueline Bisset, Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, Tom Waits, Jerry Springer