The Academy Award on her shelf should be sufficient enough proof, but, just in case, I offer this clip up to the cinematic gods as evidence to the following claim: Charlize Theron‘s performance in director Patty Jenkins’ heartcrushing Monster (2003) is one of the best acting turns by any actress, ever. Much has been made about how the naturally gorgeous Theron “uglied” herself for the role, becoming unrecognizable. What really astonishes and opens the emotional floodgates upon each viewing, though, is her [Alliteration Warning] pitch-perfect perf. A biopic of little known (prior to the film) Florida prostitue/serial killer Aileen Wuornos, Monster flips its ironic title, depicting Wuornos as a sympathetic lost cause rather than a homicidal maniac. As Wuornos’ one true love, Christina Ricci more than holds her own, but it’s Theron’s show.
So many dominating moments ring in thought, from Wuornos’ reluctant shooting of the kind driver who’s about to become a grandfather, to her first passionate, explosive makeout session with Selby (Ricci), a genuinely touching dose of dreamlike romance. The game-changer, however, comes in the final 15 minutes. With the fuzz on their heels, Wuornos buys Selby a bus ticket back home to Ohio. Their teary goodbye brings me close to pouring out some eye liquid myself every time, and I’m not ashamed to divulge that. [Scene after the jump]