Coco At the Movies: The Eyes of Laura Mars

Posted by: Coco Buchanan

coco_chanelProducer Alex & I found this flick on Fear Net On Demand. It stars Faye Dunaway, as a Helmut Newton-type (who actually did the photography for this movie) fashion photographer who has premonitions/visions of murders, and Tommy Lee Jones as John Neville, the detective investigating the murders surrounding Mars. It was written by John Carpenter, and directed by Irvin Kershner, who apparently, used to be Barbara Streisand’s hair guy. Streisand sings the title track, natch, though it also boasts some quintessential 70s disco hits from KC and the Sunshine Band & Heatwave (Boogie Nights).

What’s pretty cool about this film mostly, is the costumes and the fact that they shot all around New York City, so you get to see Chelsea and SoHo all raw in the 70s. It worked well as capturing the time period, and focusing on the fashion world of the time. And actually, I was pleasantly surprised that everything but the plot was better than it really had to be. The plot was compelling and interesting enough, though I thought they were a few key elements were nonsensical and a bit preposterous (I mean, besides the fact that she was psychic or whatever)– the premonitions she had were never really explained or came to her in any intuitive way. I guess we were just supposed to not question it or wonder about why, how, or when they happened. Whatever.

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A couple of acting things that were sort of weird was that first of all, it just doesn’t seem right to see Tommy lee Jones that young. And younger looking than Dunaway, no less-I dunno, it put me off a little. Second, Raul Julia was also cast in this movie for some reason, playing Laura Mars’s gold-digging ex-husband. This could just be a bias because of my age and the popularity of the Addams Family movie when I was 9, but he will always and forever be Gomez in every movie he’s in. The overacting was pretty painful, yet hilarious to watch….though I’m pretty sure his weren’t supposed to be comedic scenes.

Dunaway’s acting was ok, though I wasn’t all that psyched on her repeating the “damsel in distress” schtick over and over again towards the end. I think that was that point at which I got pretty bored and lost interest in whether or not she got murdered or married, or whatever. There was a plot twist at the end that was a bit predictable, though maybe back then it would’ve been seen as more shocking or surprising.

Anyway, you should see this film if for nothing else, to look at New York in the 70s, and get a taste of what it was like to be in the middle of the Studio 54 scene.

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