Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss) is the lead singer of Something She, an all-girl punk band which achieved success in the 90s. While dealing with her many addictions and inner demons, Becky aims to find the inspiration which originally consecrated her group. Unfortunately, her toxic behaviour sends her spiralling out of control as her bandmates (Agyness Deyn and GLOW’s Gayle Rankin) and her entourage witness her slow descent to hell. After screening Listen Up Philip in 2015 and Golden Exits in 2018, Americana is thrilled to present Alex Ross Perry’s (guest of honour during last year’s edition of Americana) sixth film. His new work exudes the usual bitterness and restlessness that characterise his filmography, but this time, it unfolds on a stage where we observe the ascent, the fall, and eventually, the redemption of the chaotic rock star.
A familiar presence in Ross Perry’s films, Elisabeth Moss gives a terrific performance and skillfully embodies the self-destructive singer, reminiscent of Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, and, in the words of the filmmaker, Axl Rose. Before our very eyes, Moss morphs without holding back into the reckless Becky, displaying a truly impressive range of emotions, alternating between madness, paranoia, depression and euphoria and precarious emotional stability. The film also stars an impeccable Deyn (who already impressed us with her acting chops in Terence Davies’ Sunset Song), and well-known faces in the industry such as Cara Delevingne (Paper Cities), Dan Stevens (Colossal), Amber Heard (Magic Mike XXL) and Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers).
To immerse viewers into this wild and volatile universe where everything happens at a frantic rhythm, and alcohol and narcotics are almost mandatory to keep up, Ross Perry opts for close-up plans of his protagonists’, especially Moss’ face. The result of this aesthetic choice is highly hypnotic and allows us to enjoy from the very front row the show given by its lead actress, who exceeds her highly spectacular performance in Queen of Earth (2015). Undoubtedly, Her Smell is a very bold bet from Ross Perry who chose a more sensitive and psychedelic approach over a narrative one, but with a cast giving all-around powerful performances, we predict Ross Perry’s film to impact the audience to unprecedented levels.
2018: Toronto Film Festival
Runtime: 134 min
Direction: Alex Ross Perry
Screenplay: Alex Ross Perry
Cinematography: Sean Price Williams
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Amber Heard, Cara Delevingne
Subtitles: Anna López
Contact: Bow + Arrow Entertainment