LIZZIE (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘The legend of Lizzie Borden’

Lizzie is a 2018 American biographical thriller feature film directed by Craig William Macneill (Channel Zero: Candle CoveThe Boy) from a screenplay written by Bryce Kass. The plot is based on the true story of Lizzie Borden.

The movie stars Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jay Huguley, Fiona Shaw and Jamey Sheridan.

After a lifetime of loneliness and repression, Lizzie Borden (Chloë Sevigny) finds a kindred spirit in housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) and their secret intimacy sparks an unthinkable act…

Lizzie will be released in the USA in select theaters on September 14, 2018, via Roadside Attractions and Saban Films.


Lizzie may not quite succeed as a rescuing of the dignity of Lizzie’s actions viewed through a modern feminist lens, but it’s still often an engaging, if overwrought, tale. For those willing to stick it out until the bravura sequence they may well be sufficiently rewarded, yet in the light of day it’s difficult to see the film as an unbridled success.” Jason Gorber, Dork Shelf

” …it is clear Macneill and screenwriter Bryce Kass set out to court favor with social justice mafia by giving Borden the most feminist, straight male-demonizing spin possible. Perhaps that is all well and good up to a point, but the conspicuous manipulativeness gets exhausting over time.’ Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

“Rising to the level of the top-flight cast he assembled, MacNeill gives them plenty to do, not only in words, but deeds, shrewdly using acts as simple as the notes Lizzie and Bridget pass to each other and food being served to speak volumes about the characters while pushing the narrative forward at an appropriately unforgiving pace.” Stephen Saito, Moveable Feast

“No disrespect to Sevigny, who brings both empathy and chilliness to the role of a cloistered single woman wreaking vengeance on her abusive and miserly parents. This rendition of Lizzie […] could have been a subversive recut of the legend, but Macneill’s telling is as bloodless as the corpses that bookend the film…” Sara Stewart, New York Post

Macneill and Kass have created a film that is haunting, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Chloë Sevigny has never been better, and Kristen Stewart shows us once again why she truly is one of the best actresses working today.” Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment

“Between the camerawork and the subtle performances, “Lizzie” could very easily have been a silent film while still telling its story as effectively. But Kass’ dialogue is terrific, from Lizzie and Bridget’s tentative (then passionate) courtship to the sick burn Lizzie delivers to Andrew when he calls her “an abomination” for her affair with the maid.” Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Cast and characters:

  • Kristen Stewart … Bridget Sullivan
  • Chloë Sevigny … Lizzie Borden
  • Kim Dickens … Emma Borden
  • Fiona Shaw … Abby Borden
  • Denis O’Hare … John Morse
  • Jeff Perry … Andrew Jennings
  • Jamey Sheridan … Andrew Borden – The Stand
  • Jay Huguley … William Henry Moody
  • Tara Ochs … Susan Gilbert
  • Darin Cooper … Jury Foreman
  • Jeremy Sykes … Tenement Man
  • Tom Thon … Professor Wood

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