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May (2002)

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Plot Summary:
"A modern take on "Frankenstein" as a friendless young woman goes to horrific lengths for companionship."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 05 August 2003 My Rating: out of 5


Lucky McKee's debut feature film finally makes it to UK shores after much critical appreciation, but is it deserving of the praise?

May has been a loner since her first day of school due to her overbearing mother's insistence that she wear a pirate's eye patch to help her lazy eye. Her only friend through her childhood years is a creepy doll who must remain in it's glass display case under her mother's orders. Struggling to adjust to adult life, May finally snaps when her doll is accidently smashed to pieces which prompts her to take her mother's advice of 'If you can't find a friend make one' literally.

Finally a film that lives up to the hype surrounding it! May is a shining example of low budget film-making at it's best.

Lucky McKee's script is deeply personal and has been treated respectfully in it's execution. The film is obviously indebted to it's lead Angela Bettis who carries (wink wink) the entire film with one of the most honest and touching performances I have seen in a long time.

Also in fine form are Jeremy Sisto as the object of May's unwanted advances and Anna Faris as May's lesbian friend and co-worker Polly. It was also nice to see James Duval and Nora Zehetner who have other genre credits, and are always good in their roles, take small yet significant parts.

The film demonstrates McKee's love of the the Grand Guignol through use of colour and more obvious visual references such as Dario Argento posters and even the inclusion of lots of blood.

The only minor quibble for me was the change in atmosphere as May began her killing spree, as it became a little bit too far fetched for my liking.

Although May is a wonderful film especially for a debut, there is some niggling aspect that has stayed with me which unfortunately prevented me from giving it full marks. I look forward to McKee's future projects!

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