Picks and Pans Review: The Brown Bunny

updated 09/06/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/06/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Vincent Gallo, Chloƫ Sevigny


Writer-director-star Vincent Gallo caused a scandal at Cannes in 2003 with this numbingly self-indulgent film, now trimmed by 26 minutes. Long stretches consist of close-ups of Gallo as he drives home to California after a motorcycle race, with the road crunching beneath the wheels of his van the only sound. He's deadened with grief over a lost girlfriend, and apparently he doesn't have a car stereo. In a motel he's joined by this ex-love (Sevigny, even more affectless, as if she'd drifted in from Awakenings). As he whimpers unhappily about her past betrayals, she gratifies him with a sex act that appears to be graphically authentic (unless Gallo's multiple titles also include prosthetics wrangler). Why would a director do this to an actress? It's possibly the same reason Bill Clinton has given for his fling with Monica Lewinsky: because he could. (Not rated)

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