From naïve girl to porn superstar that is the story told in Lovelace. Based on 70s porn queen Linda Lovelace’s autobiography Ordeal this film shows her version of how she came to star in the infamous porn film Deep Throat
When Linda (Amanda Seyfried) meets Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) her life changes from strict catholic upbringing to a free sexual life. However once married to pimp Chuck what once happened behind closed doors becomes a source of much needed income.
On seeing Linda’s legendary “sword-swallowing’ trick for the first time porn producer Jerry Samiano (Hank Azaria) and movie mogul Tony Romano (Chris North) are in awe and the idea for the porn-comedy Deep Throat is conceived. Linda becomes an overnight sensation, but not only does the film attract a lot of media attention it soon brings in a lot of money, for everyone except Linda.
Then a rewind tells the story from a different point of view, namely Linda’s. Her naïve charm and sexual liberty is all just facade. Physically and mentally abused by Chuck Linda is forced into doing unspeakable acts, a sexual puppet to please men with her husband pulling the strings at gunpoint.
Trying desperately leave her husband and the life she sees panning out ahead of her,Linda seeks help from her mother (an unrecognisable Sharon Stone) only to be told to “obey her husband”.
Lovelace lives from its two main characters. Sarsgaaard is wonderful as the macho, drugged up Traynor and gives a multi-layered performance displaying greed, rage and fear of losing his “property”. But it is Seyfrieds raw emotions that really tell the story. She is charming, vulnerable and very real.
And thankfully directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman never lose focus on the story behind the story; only revealing emotions never intimate parts by cleverly using massive wigs and cutaways. With attention to detail the gritty feeling of the 70s porn world feels true and clever story telling pulls the viewer in.
However for a movie wanting to tell the truth Lovelace neglects to take a closer look at all perspectives. With Ordeal as the foundation of the film Linda’s personal accounts are taken at face value never looking closer into her pornographic past and ignoring conflicting accounts.
But the stellar performances of both Seyried and Sarsgaard make Lovelace well worth seeing. So if you are hoping for a little hardcore you will be disappointed as the story focuses on the pain behind a public perception not on public display.