In a revelatory performance, Charlize Theron stars in the shocking and moving true-life story of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute executed in 2002 in Florida after being convicted of murdering six men. While Wuornos confessed to the six murders, including a policeman, she claimed to have killed only in self-defense, resisting violent assaults while working as a prostitute.
Bravely burrowing beneath the tabloid headlines about Americas first female serial killer - and the medias sordid designation of Wuornos as an unrepentant monster - first-time writer-director Patty Jenkins unearths an unlikely love story between two misfits.
Nearing suicidal despair, Wuornos wanders into a Florida bar, where she meets Selby Wall (Christina Ricci), a young woman sent by her parents to live with an aunt in order to cure her homosexuality". Wuornos, victim of a tragic, abusive upbringing, quickly falls in love and clings to Selby like a life preserver. Unable to find a legitimate job but desperate to sustain her relationship with Selby, Wuornos continues working as a prostitute. When one of her johns turns violent, Wuornos shoots the man in self-defense - the first in her tragic string of killings.
Shot in many of the actual locations where Wuornos committed her crimes between 1989-90, in its grittiness, verisimilitude, and hard-won empathy for its antihero, Monster is reminiscent of the great, iconoclastic American films of the 60s and 70s. Co-starring Bruce Dern, Monster succeeds as searing social commentary, road movie, and most profoundly as love story. Therons astounding physical transformation matched by unerring psychological acuity is sure to surprise audiences familiar with her work, and in writer-director Jenkins, Monster heralds a major new filmmaking talent.
* Audio commentary with the producer, director and Charlize Theron