Butterfly Kiss

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Butterfly Kiss

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Those renting Butterfly Kiss expecting the touching story of a Contemporary Christian singer's love for his daughter will probably realize they've made a mistake the first time underused actress Amanda Plummer opens her shirt to reveal a network of tattoos, bruises, chains and piercings. Set in northern England, Plummer plays a strange, drifting, frequently murderous woman who visits the interchangeable filling stations of the English highway system in search of a woman named Judith who may have been writing her letters. She soon meets and begins an affair with Saskia Reeves, one of the many women behind the counters who turn out not to be Judith. The movie, directed by Michael Winterbottom (of last year's overlooked Jude and the forthcoming Welcome To Sarajevo), flashes back and forth between what appears to be a confession by Reeves (although the crime isn't immediately clear) and the two women's time on the road—an unhinged trip during which they form a strange relationship dependent on Reeves' complicity and Plummer's abuse. This relationship endures even after Plummer shocks the meek Reeves by displaying her willingness to murder as often as the whim strikes her. While it doesn't take long for Butterfly Kiss' trajectory to become clear, its predictability isn't too much of a debit thanks to Plummer and Reeves' acting and the film's non-sensationalistic handling of its material. The final effect is less haunting than was probably intended, but Butterfly Kiss is worth a look.

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