The truth goes deeper than you think.
Premiered: January 22nd, 2013 at Sundance Film Festival
Directed by: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Genre: Biography, Drama
MPAA Motion Picture Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, drug use and some domestic violence
Amanda Seyfried … as Linda Lovelace
Peter Sarsgaard … as Chuck
Sharon Stone … as Dorothy Boreman
Robert Patrick … as John Boreman
Juno Temple … as Patsy
Chris Noth … as Anthony Romano
Bobby Cannavale … as Butchie Peraino
Hank Azaria … as Gerry Damiano
Adam Brody … as Harry Reems
James Franco … as Hugh Hefner
Debi Mazar … as Dolly
Chloë Sevigny … as Feminist Reporter (previously Rebecca)
Wes Bentley … as Thomas the Photographer
Eric Roberts … as Nat Laurendi
Ron Pritchard … as Sammy Davis Jr.
Status: Out on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.
Spoiler Warning: Please be advised that this page is meant to be a comprehensive overview of a movie and is likely to contain critical spoilers as to the various story-wise outcomes. If you’d like to remain spoiler-free as to what happens in the movie in question, we suggest you not read any further.
Content Warning: Please note that Chloë Sevigny has appeared in many R-rated movies which contain material unsuitable for young or sensitive audiences due to their mature, violent, frightening or otherwise graphic footage or content. If you are sensitive to this kind of content, some material presented on our site, such as screen caps and video clips from the movie itself, may not be suitable for you.
In 1972-before the internet, before the porn explosion — Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the highlife when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation — less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world-and herself as the survivor of a far darker story.
Chloë Sevigny makes a small cameo appearance in the film as a reporter who interviews Linda Lovelace.
Feminist Reporter: “What’s your name?”
Linda: “Linda Lovelace.”
Feminist Reporter: “I meant, what’s you’re real name?”
Linda: “That’s my real name.”
Feminist Reporter: “So what did you do before you were the first ever pornographic film superstar?”
Feminist Reporter: “How does it feel to be the poster girl for the sexual revolution?”
Linda: “It’s just a goof. To me it’s– it’s just a movie. Like any other movie, only it has so many better things in it.”
Feminist Reporter: “Like what?”
Linda: “Like me.”
Feminist Reporter: “So tell me, who’s the real Linda Lovelace?”
Select quotations regarding the film from Chloë Sevigny and her co-workers:
On her role and how she got involved:
“That’s just a cameo. That’s not really even a role. It’s one scene with Amanda [Seyfried]. Amanda’s my friend and it’s her movie, so they asked me to come do it to help them out. It’s a great part for her. I’m excited to see the movie. I think she’s going to be great in it.”
– Collider.com interview, October 31st 2012
• Before Lovelace, Chloë Sevigny and Amanda Seyfried worked closely for five seasons on HBO’s Big Love (2006-2011).
• Chloë Sevigny makes only a brief cameo appearance in the film. Her character was originally called “Rebecca”.
• According to IMDb, in the film’s simulated oral sex scenes with Amanda Seyfried, a Popsicle was used as a substitute penis.
Lovelace has generally received mixed reviews from critics. While the lead actors, Amanda Seyfried in particular, have been commended for their work in the movie, the film was criticized for straying too far away from real events, and some critics felt the film gave a much too glossed-over picture of the pornography industry of the time.
• Rating: Internet Movie Database: 6.2/10 with c. 26,500 user votes counted
• Rating: MetaCritic: 51/100 metascore, “Mixed or average reviews”
• Rating: Rotten Tomatoes: 54% positive reviews (“Rotten”)
Excerpts from professional reviews:
“This film is told in sympathy with the Linda Lovelace who reclaimed her real name, Linda Boreman, and became a feminist anti-porn activist years after her sole porn credit. Unfortunately, despite its passion and purpose, it’s executed with so many wrong, false, stale and routine creative decisions that it runs aground by the time Muppet Babies Hef saunters in. Even a ‘Rashomon’ structure that withholds Linda’s point-of-view of certain pivotal events delivers its revelations with the bland efficiency of a TV newsmagazine. Standard ’70s movie music cues crossfade to tell us when a scene has completed its business. And yet ‘Lovelace’ has some good things going for it. Amanda Seyfried is a natural, quietly explosive actress, and she has a heartbreaking way with close-ups. She brings truth and beauty to a trailer-ready line like ‘You made me beautiful,’ said with brimming eyes to the oddly courteous guy (Wes Bentley) shooting her porno posters. [—] ‘Lovelace’ treads too lightly. It’s understandable that the filmmakers would feel a bit timid about indulging satire and sensationalism when handling a real person’s life story, but if that was the case, they should have reconsidered casting brilliant character actors Hank Azaria and Bobby Canavale as the greasiest mob-affiliated pornographers in Miami, and having them groan things like, ‘Ohh, now that is art!’ while watching Linda perform her soon-to-be-famous sex trick on co-star Harry Reems (Adam Brody). Since the purpose of these early, breezy, jokey scenes is to set us up for a mighty fall into gruesome reality, the more ‘Boogie Nights’ comic confection, the better. ‘Lovelace’ sets up jokes it’s too terrified of deep offense to knock down.”
– Steven Boone, RogerEbert.com
“The late star of ‘Deep Throat’, Linda Lovelace, titled her 1980 autobiography ‘Ordeal’, but, for the most part, ‘Lovelace’ goes down smooth. Reducing an immensely disturbing, politically byzantine tale to a series of cartoonish vignettes, this celeb-studded biopic squanders a gutsy performance by Amanda Seyfried while making ’70s porn look scarcely more sleazy than a movie-of-the-week melodrama from the period. Co-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman forsake the truth-telling spirit of their past work in documentary, relying on jumbled chronology and long ellipses to smooth over the Lovelace saga’s many rough edges. [—] Whatever the case, ‘Lovelace’ lacks the nerve to adhere to the standard practice of biography, resulting in a film that purports to respect its subject without fully taking her side. To its credit, the movie includes one extremely unpleasant scene of Lovelace being raped by Traynor (who in real life argued that the pair’s rough sex was consensual), but it concludes on a note that could easily be read as upbeat. Certainly the film bears evidence of some last-minute shifts of political perspective: Sarah Jessica Parker was widely reported to have played Gloria Steinem in the movie, but she’s missing from the final cut, while Chloe Sevigny’s role as a feminist reporter amounts to a single shot.”
– Rob Nelson, Variety
“The lurid celebrity and sordid aftermath of the brief career of the world’s first porn star is vividly, if not explicitly, etched in Lovelace. Given all the ways a project like this could have gone wrong, the result is surprisingly good on several fronts, beginning with a shrewd structure that fosters an intelligent dual perspective on the public and private aspects of the Deep Throat phenomenon. Leaving behind the overly academic approach they brought to an earlier cultural and censorship landmark in Howl three years ago, directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have made a real movie here… [—] Making a huge swing from the sweet, innocent Cosette in Les Miserables to the queen of porn, Seyfried has been decked out in curly black hair and freckles and otherwise deprettified to an extent to approximate the look of her real-life character. She gives a strong, credible performance that catches Linda’s insecurities and exacts sympathy and regret for all that happened to her, even as she might not seem to completely inhabit the role at all times. Similarly, Sarsgaard convincingly expresses all manner of manipulative behavior and venal motives as Chuck, but perhaps the actor is simply too genial to be as scary as, say, James Woods would have been in this role in his prime or like John Hawkes was in Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
– Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
Awards & Nominations
Lovelace has received 2 awards and 2 award nominations.
• Golden Trailer Award (2014): Trashiest Poster (Lionsgate, Open Road Films)
• Women Film Critics Circle Adrienne Shelly Award (2013): 2nd Place
• CinEuphoria Award (2015): Best Supporting Actress — International Competition (Sharon Stone)
• Women Film Critics Circle Award (2013): Worst Female Images in a Movie (Sharon Stone)
Chloë Sevigny Online
Please note that the opinions expressed below are all 100% our own, not those of Chloë Sevigny or anyone affiliated with either her or the rest of the cast or crew.
I have to admit I fast-forwarded through most of Lovelace. Although it’s beautifully shot and Amanda Seyfried puts in a bold and convincing performance, the film spends too much time on Deep Throat and the road leading up to it rather than the more interesting (and, from a feminist perspective, more relevant) aftermath. In fact, Lovelace is for a long time perhaps “too” beautiful, giving (rather twistedly) a misleading “PG-13” image of the pornography industry of the ’70s. Congrats to Amanda Seyfried, though, for shaking off Big Love‘s young Sarah Henrickson with this mature and demanding role. I may not have cared for the film itself, but her sensitive performance was a delight to watch.
If you’re only watching Lovelace for Chloë Sevigny, though, you will be disappointed — she appears in the film in name only. For whatever reason, her role as a reporter working on a story on Lovelace seems to have been cut from the intended to a bare minimum, and she appears in her only scene for less than ten seconds (seriously, no joke), asking a few typically contentious questions of Seyfried’s Lovelace. Seeing as Sarah Jessica Parker’s Gloria Steinem was also cut from the film, Rob Nelson from Variety speculated that the movie may have gone through a change in perspective in post-production, and from what I saw this does seem probable. The lack of a properly critical analysis of Lovelace’s life is noticeable, and the film’s feminist characters having been reduced from three to one (essentially Lovelace herself, post-DT) it seems clear that the step away from a female point of view has been conscious. And that’s disappointing. :/ -Admin
Our rating of the movie: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Our rating of Chloë’s performance: N/A (not enough screen time)
Below are some Lovelace-related links that may be of interest to you.