Whatever its intrinsic interest, Nick Broomfield's (and Joan Churchill's) post-execution addendum to his 1992 documentary, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, gets a boost from its close proximity to the docudrama on the same subject, Monster. It allows you to study at length and at close range the original model from which Charlize Theron was working, and allows you to ponder how and why the actress slips irrevocably into caricature and condescension. Something to do, perhaps, with working so much on the surface? Proceeding from the outside in? Getting entangled in mimicry? Separating her "normal" self from her temporary aberrance? Regardless of the reason, it falls to the real person, not to the well-meaning and hard-laboring impersonator, to humanize the "monster." By the end, you will no longer be drawing comparisons to Charlize Thespian. You will be taking the measure of the killer herself. And after her final interview on the eve of her execution -- when the only topic she would entertain is her "conspiracy" theory to the effect that the police knew straightaway she was the culprit after the first killing, and permitted her to continue through a half-dozen more of them only to fan the flames of publicity -- it is hard to disagree with Broomfield's assessment of her as mad. Not just angry, though that too, but certifiably crazy. The aforesaid intrinsic interest is all hers, and not at all the sloppy camerawork, the shoddy DV image, or the relentless intrusions of Nick Broomfield into the spotlight. (2003) — Duncan Shepherd
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